The Children’s Research University (formerly Children’s University) in Gandhinagar is in dire straits. Thanks to the apathy of the state government and the lack of direction, the university now has not even a proper building to house itself and operate from.
The university was launched in 2009 by then state CM Narendra Modi with the aim of bringing in a sea-change in child education and innovative pedagogy. However, failing to do any of those, after 14 years it stands literally dilapidated.
Housed in the one-storey Subhash Chandra Bose Shikshan Sankul in sector 20, Gandhinagar, the building is in such disrepair that teachers, students, and staff have been directed by the education department to vacate the building immediately. The Gujarat government hasn’t been able to provide an alternative location or plan to them. The university management also lacks a contingency plan, either online or hybrid, or any accommodation, leaving students and staff in a fix.
The existing building is very old, and there are genuine fears about its safety. After an official inspection, it’s been deemed ‘dangerous’ for use. Teachers and staff received written orders to move out and work from a ‘safe place’.
An insider said, “If we’re expected to find a ‘safe place to work’, with potential home-based solutions, no interim provisions have been made. There’s no provision for online classes or a hybrid model to maintain uninterrupted academic activities.”
Vice Chancellor Harshad Patel acknowledged that the university was directed to vacate due to the building’s precarious condition, which posed a threat to 160 individuals. An official said, a school on the campus had three available classrooms. The students were likely to be taught there. Seven teachers will cater to 55 PG students from this makeshift setup.
However, insiders stated that the university’s three other centres remain without a clear operational plan.