BUDGAM: The Higher Secondary School Drang falling in Khag education zone in Budgam district is facing shortage of teachers, besides running without a full-fledged principal.
The school has 380 students on rolls but is unable to provide them the required education, because of dearth of teachers.
Out of the 27 sanctioned teachers’ posts at the school, the staffers said, 10 are vacant.
The school administration said Urdu, English, Economics, Education, Persian and Environmental Science teacher posts were vacant since long at the school.
The posts of physical education instructor, librarian, laboratory assistant have been unoccupied for a long time too.
Shabir Ahmed, a student, wondered how they could study when there were no teachers for English and Economics. Students with sound financial resources have arranged private tuitions or enrolled in coaching centres, he added.
Another student said the shortage of teachers could affect the future of the students and demanded that the authorities should appoint permanent teachers in the school at the earliest.
“We staged protest at several occasions, but no one is ready to pay heed,” students who talked to Kashmir Reader said.
“Our principal was transferred in 2017, but a year has passed and our institution is still headless,” they said.
“The principal who has been given additional charges is deployed elsewhere, miles away, and hasn’t bothered to visit the school ever since he took charge,” they added.
Besides lacking teachers, the students say the school lacks facilities ranging from usable washrooms to books in the library.
The library has only “half a shelf of books” and no librarian. The few books the school has gather dust as there is no one to take care of them.
“We don’t have even a science laboratory here. A few apparatus were brought from somewhere years back, but unfortunately the post of laboratory assistant is vacant since decades,” a staffers said.
In the absence of a physical education teacher the students said they have “never participated in any contest either in the school or outside,”
A local resident, Ali Mohammad Dar, whose ward studies at the school said, “We have been forgotten because we are residents of a backward area. Official apathy leads to the increase in dropout rate of the students year by year.”
“How can our wards compete with other students when half-time is over and they are without faculty? It is a shame on the government, and their tall claims prove themselves to be hollow slogans here,” Dar said.
The students also complained of filthy state of the toilets and the awful stench coming them. The doors are broken, and their condition is so obnoxious that the students refrain from using them.
“We are unable to use the dirty toilets that stink awfully. Despite submitting a written complaint to the higher ups, no action has been taken so far. The toilets are yet to be cleaned,” a student told Kashmir Reader.
Sources said most schools in the district were facing a shortage of teachers and other staff.
They said that qualified and experienced youth used to be recruited as college teaching interns in the past, in order to fill vacant posts of regular teachers and lecturers.
Now, however, sources said that teachers from urban areas avoided working in the Drang school as it is located in a remote area.
A source said a number of teachers were posted to the school from different cities, but they got themselves transferred back to their respective home stations.
Even though contractual teachers have been hired by the state government, but their hiring has turned out to be a case of too little, too late.
The students demanded that the vacant posts should be filled soon so they can complete their syllabus in this short time.
Chief Education Officer Abdul Rouf Shahmari told Kashmir Reader that he was not competent to comment on the matter.
However, Director Education G N Itoo could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.