A school in Delhi has decided to emulate the odd-even rationing scheme the city’s residents are all too familiar with.
Since the beginning of this week, the school has been running classes for girls and boys on alternate days.
Faced with double shifts and a serious shortage of teachers, the Government Senior Secondary School at Sunder Nagri in northeast Delhi was forced to implement this rationing scheme.
Until last academic year, the school was co-educational but this year, the government ordered that it should run in double shifts as a part its initiative to enroll more students.
The order came three months ago but the school did not make adequate arrangement for the transfer of teachers, sources said. And with no formal orders, teachers refused to teach the evening shift.
So on Monday, it began by teaching girls and on Tuesday, boys. When the management committee members complained about the rationing, the school authorities approached the District Directorate of Education (DDE) and got transfer orders issued.
“After the bifurcation, the transfers were not cleared because of which the problem happened and we had to find an alternative system. Now I have been told that the district DDE will issue an order and from Thursday we will start the double shifts. But the shortage of teachers is a reality and government needs to look into it,” said Suresh Chand Shakya, vice-principal of the school.
He said that even after the transfer orders, the school was still short of 60 teachers.
There are over 4,000 children studying in the school in both shifts, divided into 54 sections. There are 22 sections in the morning shift and 32 sections in the evening shift.
A teacher said it was mostly the evening classes that did not have enough teachers.
“The school had three months time to arrange and manage the transfer and allocation of teachers. We cannot say whether it is the school authorities or the DDE which is at fault. Such odd even system in school is not at all acceptable,” said Rajiv Kumar, founder of NGO Pardarshita and member of the school’s SMC.
ML Kaushik, Deputy Director of Zone 6, said there was a problem in clearing the transfers now that the issue has been solved.
“From Thursday, the school will run smoothly in the double shift. The principal was not able to manage, so the step was taken,” said Kaushik.