Odisha: Girls Oppose Merger of Their School with Boys' School
According to the police, a sit-in protest was organized by girl students of a local school and their parents, opposing the state government's decision to merge their school with a boys' school. The agitation at Unit-9 Government Girls High School resulted in at least five students fainting, who were immediately taken to Capital Hospital and reported to be in stable condition.
The state government's plan involves merging Unit-9 Girls High School with Unit-9 Boys High School in order to accommodate and relocate Rama Devi Women's Junior College. The Director of Higher Secondary School, Odisha, has already written a letter to the School & Mass Education Special Secretary, addressing the separation of infrastructure between RD Women's Higher Secondary School and Rama Devi Women's University.
As per the decision, the Arts and Commerce streams will be shifted to Unit-9 Government Girls' High School in the first phase of the merger. However, science classes will be conducted at Rama Devi Women's University due to the lack of laboratory facilities at the girls' school.
Suresh Routray, a Congress leader and Jatni MLA, joined the girls' agitation and voiced his opposition to the merger. Routray emphasized the significance of the girls' high school established by former Chief Minister Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab as a means to encourage girls' education, stating that the government should not merge this school.
Pragyan Paramita Jena, the Bhubaneswar Block Education Officer, visited the protest site in an attempt to convince the students and parents to accept the merger. However, her appeal was rejected by the protesters. Jena expressed her intention to inform the government about the girls' opinions before departing from the location.