Schools turn into marriage palaces
Noormahal (Jalandhar), April 20
Such has been the plight of the schools on the outskirts of the district that a few of them that have been kept locked for the want of teachers are now being used as venues for the marriage receptions. One such ceremony took place today at Government Middle School of Bhullar and Qadian villages falling in Noormahal sub-division, which was closed a few months back for the same reason.
The groom, his family, friends and relatives arrived on the school campus along with dancer girls and band players. They parked their vehicles under the shades of trees and rested on the cots put up for their convenience in the verandah of the school.
Soon the baraatis were charged up as the dancers presented dance items on the tunes of various Hindi numbers. The band players kept their instruments aside and started playing cards. Eatables were served to all by the family of Mr Joginder Singh of Qadian village, whose daughter was to be wedded with a boy from Litran village of Nakodar sub-division.
This was the sorry state of a Government Middle School here that had nearly 40 students of Classes VI to VIII from Qadian and Bhullar villages till last year. The only woman teacher taking classes here wascommuting from Khanna daily. Soon, she got herself transferred to a village close to her residence and the students were left to fend for themselves.
Though the Education Department arranged for teachers from the nearby schools, the system did not work out well. The teachers from Government Senior Secondary School, Bilga village, were deputed on a weekly basis in the school to take classes on different subjects. The students’ strength of the school kept on dwindling and it finally came down to 10 when the teachers from Bilga village stopped coming here. This school has now been locked as the students had shifted to schools in Sangowal and Khela villages in its vicinity.
But today’s incident really proved to be a nuisance for the students of primary section of the same school who had been attending classes in the adjoining block of the same building.
Mr Joginder Singh, father of the bride, said that though the village had its own dharamshala it was convenient for him to use the school campus, as it was just a few yards away from his residence. He said that he was not the first person to use it for the purpose even other residents of Qadian and Bhullar villages had also used it earlier for marriage receptions.
Mr R.R. Badhan, District Education Officer (secondary), was not aware of the ceremony even as he said that it must have happened due to interference by the panchayat. He said he would ensure that it did not happen again. The department was devising ways so that the school could be started again either by deputing teachers from Bilga village or appointing new teachers using PTA funds, he added.