M A I N   N E W S

No teacher, Class V student runs school
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Soyemajra (Ropar), December 8
The Government Elementary School in this village is without any teacher. Three months back, the last regular lady teacher at the single-teacher school “managed” to get transferred to Government Elementary School, Ramgarh( Kharar), in the middle of the session. The teacher posted in her place has not joined so far.

Not only that, in the absence of a regular teacher the Punjab Education Board authorities have not bothered to evaluate the answer books of the supplementary examinations held in September. The unchecked answer books are dumped in a makeshift store in the school premises.

The order transferring Ms Jaswinder Kaur, issued by the District Education Officer, mentions that it should be ensured that a teacher is posted in the school.

Twentyone students daily come to the school only to play. Amandeep Kaur, a student of Class V, who has been religiously performing the duty of “Incharge”, locks and unlocks the classrooms. She still hopes to complete her education at the school.

“Before the light of curiosity to learn gives way to despair and the village produces school drop-outs, the department should act”, pleaded the villagers when The Tribune visited the school on Monday. The villagers are irritated at the stop-gap-arrangement of appointing a teacher for five to 10 days.

The Tribune team visited the school regularly for a few days. Yesterday, when the Tribune correspondent and the lensman were at the school, an employee of the Education Department came to deliver yet another consignment of supplementary examination papers scheduled to be held this month. But the employee went back as there was no teacher to receive the papers.

Irritated, the villagers have sent a legal notice to the DPI(Schools) and District Education Officer, Ropar, asking for a regular teacher so that the studies of their children did not suffer. Mr Jagtar Singh, son of the village sarpanch, said “ After the regular teacher was transferred in August last, the village had staged a symbolic lockout of the school. The villagers relented after the DEO promised to cancel the transfer of the teacher”.

“Since then the DEO, Ms Bashwinder Kaur, has never visited the school. Sitting in the office, different teachers in the Kharar block are asked to teach at the school for five to 10 days”, said Payara Singh, a panch of the village panchayat.

Annoyed, members of the gram panchayat have slapped a legal notice on the education department. The DPI (Elementary Education) and the District Education Officer have been asked to appoint a regular teacher at the school within 10 days, failing which the panchayat would file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Inquiries with the students reveal that most of the temporary teachers deputed for ten days seldom take interest in teaching. “It being the mid of the session, none of the teacher takes interest in teaching. Our children have been taught for just two months during the current academic session”, said Kesar Singh. As a stop-gap-arrangement, the members of the panchayat have asked the students of Class V to teach the junior students. But it hardly helps, he added.

The strength of the school has dropped to 21 student from 70 in the past few years.

The DEO(Elementary), Ms Bashwinder Kaur, was not available for comments. The Block Elementary Officer, Ms Gurmail Kaur, said Ms Jaspal Kaur, was posted in place of Jaswinder Kaur, but had failed to join. When asked as to why action had not been initiated against the transferred teacher, she said intimation in this regard had been sent to the DEO office.

The DPI, Mr JS Khatra, was not available for comments. His staff said he was busy at a meeting. 

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