Plight of rural schools: Students yet to open books at Gogaldara high school

Plight of rural schools: Students yet to open books at Gogaldara high school
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Budgam: The 9th and 10th class students at Government Girls High School Gogaldara in Baramulla district are yet to open most of their books – even after two months of schooling post vacations – as only two teachers are available for the two classes.
In all five teachers are available for all classes at the high school falling in Tangmarg Education zone.
Kashmir Reader has learnt that the school had 12 teachers including a headmaster, but few months back the headmaster and four other teachers were transferred and two teachers were engaged as BLO’s. Since then the school is run by five teachers, resulting in a number of classes remaining vacant.
More than 150 students are enrolled at the school, and the teachers have to attend to office work as well. Students of the 9th grade said that they haven’t had any educational activity in the last two months.
“We have no specialized teachers. We have complained about the issue to the district education officer, and several other officials,” a group of students alleged.
Parents of the students say the authorities are well aware of the situation but are uninterested in solving it. They claimed that there was abundance of teachers in other schools, but the authorities do not transfer them to this school.
Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, a parent questioned the government’s statewide school enrollment drives, while ignoring the problems of schools.
A 10th grade student at the school said that drop out ratio in the school was also high.
Another student said the school falls in a tribal area, and is the only government institution to cater to low-income children who cannot afford to pay private school fees.
“How can we compete with the other students of the valley when we have never opened our books in the school? Before lunch teachers teach us Mathematics and Urdu and then for whole day we waste our time in school,” a student said. He said that if the problem persisted for another month, they would be forced to lock the school and say bye to the studies.
Asking the chief minister and education minister to take ensure teachers are posted to the school on priority, a local resident said, successive governments are abandoning the policies of previous governments and adopting ambitious targets but “wreaking havoc of the education system”
“If the present government wants to strengthen education in the valley at a grassroots level and promote literacy, the flaws in basic education must be dealt with, and so must the vacant teaching posts and the missing facilities,” he said. Officials, meanwhile, are passing the buck to one other. Chief Education Officer Baramulla, Abdul Ahad Ganie, said that he was unaware of the problem at the school.
“I have no knowledge of the ordeal of the students of this school,” he said. “It is better to talk to concerned zonal education officer”.
Zonal Education Officer Tangmarg, Abdul Aziz Khan, told Kashmir Reader that after the bifurcation of the zone there has been an immense shortage of the teachers.
“I admit it is injustice with the students but I can’t do anything to them. I am helpless,” he said. “This is not the only school where students suffer but there are many such schools where students have not opened books till date”.
He, however, added that in coming two days some more staff would be deputed to the school.