The Government Boy’s Middle School Gundipora, which was facing closure three years ago, is moving towards excellence due to the combined efforts and co-ordination between teachers and society.
Situated in Gundipora, a village few kilometers from district headquarters in Pulwama, this school not only avoided its imminent closure but has started to outshine reputed private schools in its vicinity. Around 90 students, most of them withdrawn from reputed private schools like Valen Teens School and Islamic Public School, have taken admission in this institution.
Villagers and teachers said that three years ago it had a different story to tell. “The student enrolment had almost become zero in 2012, the school had become defunct after which most of the teaching staff was transferred,” said Javid Ahmad Mir, a resident of Gundipora, adding that it remained closed up to April of 2015.
Once deserted by students and teachers the school had turned into a shabby structure and was overshadowed by tall trees and thorny bushes.
The school had a new beginning when the authorities posted new teachers in it in 2015. Facing the challenge of zero enrolment, the teachers moved beyond the traditional role assigned to them. They renovated the building, prepared different teaching aids, re-framed syllabus and then launched a community mobilization effort.
Headmaster of the school, Bashir Ahmad Thoker said, “All teachers went door-to-door and asked the parents to send their kids. But this was not enough to win their confidence. Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, a local joined us, who involved other villagers.
“We made donations from our pockets. Around one lakh rupees was collected for renovation of the building to make it appealing for the students. Villagers also came forward and contributed. The syllabus was re-framed in association with village education committee and a strict dress code was put in place.”
The school has limited facilities like most government schools but what makes it different is a team of dedicated teachers and community involvement.
The villagers said, “Winning first prize for science model making competition and first prize for English debate at district level are achievements for a school that has remained defunct for three years.”