A Facebook post is being widely shared claiming that the Madhya Pradesh Government is planning to shut down 90% of the schools in the state out of 1.2 lakh Government schools. Let’s fact- check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Madhya Pradesh Government is planning to shutdown 90% of the Government schools in the state.
Fact: This post has been viral since 2016. At that time, there was no initiative by the government to merge and shutdown the schools. However, on 01 May 2020, Madhya Pradesh Government launched CM Rise initiative, under which some Government schools are merged to result in bigger schools with better infrastructure. According to the official data by Government of India, there was a decline of 18.7% in the number of government schools in Madhya Pradesh in 2020-21, when compared to 2015-16. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING
We ran the reverse image search of the news slipping shared in the post and found that the same has been viral since 2016. The official twitter account of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee had also shared this post on 20 January 2016. At that time, Shivraj Singh Chouhan of BJP was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (14 December 2013 – 17 December 2018).
We searched online with relevant keywords and came across an India Today article published on 27 December 2020 (Congress government was in power at that time and Kamal Nath has served as the CM from 17 December 2018 till 23 March 2020). According to this article, Madhya Pradesh schools were to be merged and rebuilt into bigger schools upto senior secondary if they share a boundary of 15 km of radius as a part of CM Rise school initiative, announced by the Madhya Pradesh School Education Department. The objective of this initiative is to provide education to state-level schools equivalent to the CBSE and ICSE. The plan will be divided into two phases – in the first phase, schools that are built within a radius of 3 and 5 km will be merged. The limit is 5 km for primary and 8 km for middle-level schools with 1248 students and 25 teachers. In the second phase, schools built within 10 km will be put merged.
Taking a cue from this, we searched on Education portal of Madhya Pradesh Government to check whether there is any policy about closing down of 90% Govt schools, but couldn’t find anything related to it. In December 2020, The Lallantop reached out to Madhya Pradesh Education Department official who ruled out the news as baseless.
According to the Government of India’s official data, below table shows the number of Government schools in Madhya Pradesh in different years.
|Year||No. of Govt schools in Madhya Pradesh|
The data indicates that there is 18.7% decline in the number of Government schools in 2020-21 compared to 2015-16. As of 31 August 2022 , a total of 2,40,818 students were enrolled in 274 CM Rise schools in Madhya Pradesh, reported News18
To sum it up, there is no evidence to state that Madhya Pradesh Government is planning to shut down 90% of Government schools in the state.