Primary school in Budgam has 30 students, no teacher

Primary school in Budgam has 30 students, no teacher

SRINAGAR: Government Primary School Bonyar Surasyar, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, has no teacher at all to teach the more than 30 students enrolled there, locals said.
Instead of posting a teacher here, locals allege, the School Education Department authorities are now shifting the enrolled students to a nearby middle school where they “are being enrolled afresh” for the ongoing academic session.
Fed up with the official apathy towards the school, Syed Farhat, a local youth from Surasyar, recently uploaded a video of the school wherein he asks the kids whether there was any teacher to teach them.
“No, it has been five to six days (since any teacher visited the school),” replies a Class 3 girl student.
Farhat said his sister, who is a teacher posted at the school, managed the classes till recently.
“But she is on maternity leave, so there is nobody to teach the students now,” he said.
The owner of the house, wherefrom the school operates, “voluntarily teaches the students,” Farhat said.
A local resident said that officials in the school education department “deputed teachers to the school in shifts”, until recently.
“But there are no teachers at present,” he said.
While on the one hand teachers are being deployed for clerical jobs, the school does not have a single teaching staff member, Farhat lamented.
A local said that the absence of teachers at the school of late has also deprived students of the Mid-Day Meal scheme, “because there is no teacher there to receive the food supplies”.
He said that the mid-day meal supplies meant for the school “are being illegally diverted to the nearby middle school”.
The middle school, he said, “is making new admissions of the students who are now being shifted from the primary school”.
“How can a middle school enrol students from a primary school?” he asked.
With the academic work at the school “in a mess”, a local said that several students had lately decided to stay at home.
Besides teaching staff, locals from Surasyar complained that there was also dearth of basic infrastructure at the school.
“The school does not have a boundary wall, toilet, and drinking water,” a local youth said.
Chief Education Officer, Budgam, Fatima Bano did not answer repeated calls made by this reporter.