The Bengal government has handed over five primary schools which were under the administrative control of the Siliguri Primary School Council to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
The schools were located within the GTA area but were being controlled, administered and managed by the Siliguri council.
With the transfer, all primary schools in the GTA area will be controlled by the hill body.
Observers believe the government probably wants to send a message through the transfer that it is ready to devolve powers to the GTA. Since the formation of the GTA in 2012, the schools had not been handed over to the GTA.
In the past, there were allegations that the state was reluctant to hand over departments and powers to the GTA even though the subjects concerned had been vested with the hill body.
While the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was in place, those at the helm had similar complains.
A source said: “The school files were handed over to the GTA today (Monday) at Nipani Kolabari High School.”
The five schools are Nepani Primary School, Belgachi T.E. Primary School, Singimari Forest Village Primary School, Sevoke Bazar Primary School and Samardanga Foreset Village Primary School. The schools are in the Mirik and Kurseong subdivisions.
The GTA will be in control of the schools from January 1, 2020.
“The service books with up-to-date records and details of PF accumulation till December 2019 will be transmitted to the district school board, GTA, Darjeeling, at the earliest,” said a source.