In Virbhadra’s home turf, students boycott classes as school lacks teachers
“I want to become a doctor but there is no one to teach us in the school.”punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2017 19:25 IST
Facing acute shortage of teachers, students of Palzara High School in Shimla district have decided to boycott classes as a mark of protest and have given the government a five-day ultimatum, failing which, they say, they will intensify their protest.
The school lies in chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s home segment Rampur.
On Friday, the school management committee held in a meeting of students and parents, wherein it was decided that classes will be boycotted to pressurise the government to appoint teachers for the school.
Students walk up to 4 km to reach the school just to attend one or two classes because the school has only two teachers—one teaches Sanskrit while the other is a TGT in humanities.
“I want to become a doctor but there is no one to teach us in the school,” says Muskaan Thakur, a Class 10 student.
She adds, “We have to appear in the board exam but except Sanskrit, we haven’t prepared anything else. What’s the use of attending school when there is no one to teach us?”
Parents have also extended support to the protesting students and accuse the government of being insensitive towards the issue.
“We often read in newspapers that Himachal Pradesh is leading the education sector in the country. If this is indeed true, why isn’t the government concerned about areas like ours,” asks Prithviraj, a parent.
Many requests, zero result
Established in 1997, Palzara High School has a sanctioned staff strength of 14, including the headmaster. “Posts of teachers are vacant for the last 4-5 years. We have been requesting authorities at different level but things refuse to change on ground,” says Virender Bhaluni, pradhan of the Bahli panchayat.
“Parents are not ready to send their children to the school,” he added.
Some of the students from Dinsha village have to cross a rivulet to reach the school. During monsoon this becomes a risky ordeal. “Despite risking their lives to reach the school, what are the children of Dinsha village getting in return? Only one or two classes a day?” asks Nand Lal, head of the school’s management committee.
“We convened a meeting on Friday wherein parents decided that they will no longer send their children to the school till the government does not appoint teachers. Students ask us what is the use of going to the school when there is no teacher,” he said.
10 computers but none to teach
Parent inform that the school has 10 computers but it is yet to appoint a computer teacher. “We are hopeful that this protest would force the government to take cognisance of the situation,” said Santosh Kumar, a parent.
He added that some people have suggested that local teachers should be arranged for the time being. “But who will pay for their wages,” Kumar asks, adding that those who had some money, have already out-migrated to ensure better education for their children.
“We are poor and can’t afford to appoint a teacher. What is the use of a government if we have to appoint teachers in a government school and also pay their salaries?” he asks.
Meanwhile, when contacted, director of elementary education Manmohan Sharma said, “A teacher has been appointed in the school recently. Recruitment of TGT is on and the list is being finalised. We will fill the vacancies at the earliest.”