All three major initiatives — ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Ujjawala Yojana — taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not reach the government high school at Lakkar village of Chhachroli block of Yamunanagar district.
A visit to the school by Hindustan Times exposed the tall claims of the BJP government in the state as the doors of the girls’ toilets were broken, there was no water in the toilets; mid-day meal was being cooked with cow dung cakes and drinking water facility for the students was missing.
“We bring water in buckets from a handpump outside the school to clean the toilet,” said Mehak of Class 8 comprising 40 students, 30 of them girls. “Sometimes we don’t go to school’s toilet and instead go home in the recess,” another student Meenakshi said.
Also condition of boys’ toilets was also miserable as there was no water in the water tanks kept on the toilets and every student visiting the toilet brings water from a handpump. A guest teacher said the water tank was under maintenance. There is no peon or sweeper; even the bell is rung by students, he said.
ONE GUEST TEACHER FOR 80 STUDENTS
Interestingly, there is only one guest teacher for 80 students from Classes 1 to 5. Five other teachers, including three guest, are teaching 197 students from classes 6 to10. There is no science and Sanskrit teacher in the school for four years and the post of the principal is vacant since 2004.
Another girl student Mansi says, “We could not study science in the past three years as there is no science teacher . We don’t know our marks in the last three years as they only announced names of three class toppers.”
A guest teacher, Narendra, said, “Besides a drawing teacher and a physical trainer, there are only three guest teachers in this school.”
COW DUNG CAKES TO COOK MID-DAY MEAL
Despite Prime Minister Modi’s announcing the Ujjawala scheme for smoke-free cooking , cow dung cakes are being used to cook mid-day meal at the school. “We collect cow dung cakes from villages to cook food for 150 students. We use LPG cylinders only for three days,” said women cooking the food, without disclosing their names.
“There are two LPG cylinders in the school, but the in-charge of the mid-day meal does not come regularly to the school,” one of them added.
36% TEACHERS’ POST VACANT IN DISTRICT
During the investigation, it was found that in Yamunanagar district, only 4,000 teachers were serving in government schools against the requirement of 6,522. Of 112 government schools in the district, 65 do not have principals.
Moreover, Chhachroli and Bilaspur blocks of the district do not have block education officers since 2012 and principals of senior secondary schools were given additional charge to look after the institutes without principals.
When the issue was taken up with district education officer, Anand Chaudhary, said there was shortage of teachers and Class 4 employees in the district.
“We are taking steps to solve all the issues of these schools as the government is planning to reappoint retired teachers,” he said.