Kulgam: In utter disregard of the “teacher-pupil” ratio policy, this middle school in DH Pora area of Kulgam district has only 5 teachers for more than 170 students.
The Government Middle School Pachkhull in DH Pora seems to have been left out of the government’s rationalisation process vis-a-vis the teaching staff of schools in Jammu and Kashmir. Data was sought from schools in this regard and a motion was set in the process to set such ratios straight, in the latter part of 2021.
“In fact, recent reports suggest that the government was mulling fixing responsibility of 10 students to one teacher, for boosting and better learning outcomes,” a source in the education department told Kashmir Reader, adding that communication between higher-ups in this regard was already in motion.
Notwithstanding these policy changes, this school in Pachkhull is grappling with an acute shortage of teaching staff. “There are more than 170 students and only 5 teachers in the school,” an insider at the school told Kashmir Reader, “which means that every 34 students will get one teacher. How will they learn and how are they going to grow?”
Even if the teachers are to be distributed class-wise, the number still falls well short. “We have been asking the administration to post more teachers to the school, but no one seems to be listening,” the school staff and the locals told Kashmir Reader. “It is a pity that this school with such immense potential has been neglected like this,” they said.
The school has been updated from Primary to Middle in November 2009, and there has been a shortage of staff that has plagued the working of the school. Presently, the school remains severely understaffed.
The locals rue that the government policies of bringing about change in the education sector are implemented only at headquarters where media visibility is high.
What happens at far-flung schools is nobody’s concern, the people lamented, while demanding that the school needs at least 30 more teachers to bring some semblance of equality to the teacher-pupil ratio.
Kashmir Reader talked to the Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) DH Pora, Ata Muhammad Khan, who assured that the issue has been taken up and will be addressed soon.
“Yes, unfortunately, there are just five teachers at the school,” Khan said, “but I am going to meet the CEO today, and I am hopeful I will be able to get at least 15 more teachers for this middle school.”
He said that the issue will be addressed in a few days. “I am really hopeful,” he said.