THE STATE Government may be serious about giving education to all but the ground realities tell a different stories altogether.
The students of government primary and middle schools were equally enthusiastic school as their more privileged brothers and sisters who go to public schools. Only their day started with brooms in hand and semi-cooked chapatis provided under the mid-day meal scheme.
This and worse is the condition of students of five Government Primary schools being run in one premises at Pancham ki Phel, Malwa Mill Road.
Two middle schools — Government Middle School number 27 and Number 7 — are also conducted in the same premises along with other primary schools namely Government Primary School Number 99, 100, 101, 47 and 98.8.
During a round of Government School number 47 (primary girls school), this reporter witnessed fifth standard children cleaning the room with brooms, ahead of their morning prayers and studies, if any.
School principal Kamla Rajkumar says that all primary schools are not allotted peons and hence the children are forced to take the brooms.
“There are a total of 75 students in the school and we are allotted five rooms including an office. So we have to conduct one class in the principal’s office,” she added for the record sake.
Forget the brooms and the mats on which they sit, even the mid-day meals provided here are substandard. Several semi-cooked and burnt chapatis were seen lying scattered on the floor. Rajkumar says that the children don’t eat the chapatis because they are substandard.
Besides, the principal, this school has only one more teacher who too would be retiring in about six months. School number 98 is in a worse condition than the other schools on the premises. Inspite of State Government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and mantras seeking to promote education, the facilities are not to be seen.
School principal Shakuntala Shrivastava has a story to tell. Her school has two teachers of whom one is visually impaired and therefore the other does most of the teaching. One teacher was transferred last year and there has been no replacement.
This school has a staggering 120 students. However, on day one, only five turned up, not surprising given the conditions. “We are very often allotted other governmental work which affects regular classes,” Shrivastava added. Apart from these, the classes allotted for primary section has no fans and water leaks through the ceiling.
The Government Primary School being conducted at Community Hall, Pancham ki Phel, has been declared dangerous by Indore Development Authority (IDA).
IDA constructed the building some 14 years ago on a ground. Here kindergarten classes are run and there are 40 children. During monsoon like these days, the school is shifted to another small hall taken on rent at Pancham ki Phel and the remaining part of the year, it is conducted at the same community hall.
School’s assistant teacher Narmada Bai, who keeps the records and runs the school, doesn’t even know the name of the principal because she has never been there. School supervisor Kamla Jarwal comes every fortnight to check the register and other formalities.
Jan Shiksha Kendra officer Mohan Tripathi whose office is located in the Malwa Mill road where the seven schools are located, says that he has raised the issue of shortage of teachers at monthly meetings and also in his monthly reports but there has been no reply.
Tripathi’s plight itself is pitiable. He has been told to impart computer education to students coming under his jurisdiction. Tripathi is simply amused because there are 24 schools and almost 6,000 students under his jurisdiction and he has just three computers.
The government may be planning a ‘School chalen hum abhiyan’, but seems to have no idea which direction to move.