Plight of rural schools: Three teachers for 163 students at primary school in Shopian

Plight of rural schools: Three teachers for 163 students at primary school in Shopian
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Nagbal (Shopian): The government primary school at Nagbal in Shopian district is struggling to provide education to its 163 students, with only three teachers for all the classes.
Moreover, the staff said the buildings are unsafe and have only one washroom for the students.
“How can we conduct normal class work for nine classes when we are only three teachers here,” a teacher at the school said.
Headmaster, Shamim Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that they should have at least 13 teachers to have normal class work.
“Two of the school buildings are about to collapse because two canals pass on the two sides of the buildings and the flash floods and heavy flow of water have eroded the soil and soon the buildings will collapse,” Ahmad said adding that they have brought the issue to the notice of higher authorities several times.
Villagers complain that the area has been abandoned by government on every aspect of development.
“Children of 200 households are dependent on this school for education but authorities are literally playing with the careers of our children,” Bashir Ahmad Thikri, a local resident said. Villagers said that they want to admit their children in other schools but there wasn’t any in the area.
“We even have no means to protest, our village is the last inhabitation of district followed with forests, we even have no road connectivity with the rest of world,” another villager, Abdul Ramzan Chopan, said.
Another teacher from the school remarked that in case of bad results the authorities blame teachers and stop salaries but they don’t take stock of the fact that the reason for bad results was lack of teachers.
“We brought the issue to notice of chief education officer, zonal education officer and deputy commissioners but nothing was done till this date and no extra teacher was posted in the school,” he said.
Chief Education Officer Shopian, Muhammad Sadiq admitted that the school was understaffed.
“We are going to hire 105 contractual teachers and within a week more teachers will be sent to the school,” Sadiq said.
On lack of washrooms, he said he would seek a report from concerned zonal education officer about the school.
“I will contact deputy commissioner for the approval of bunds for the two canals which run beside the school,” he added.