More than 75% posts of block primary education officer (BPEO) in the district are vacant. The existing BPEOs have extra charge of many other blocks.
With 9 posts vacant, the 13 blocks have only four block primary education officers. These officers monitor elementary schools, release salary bills, and do other coordinating jobs. Their work overload has affected the district’s primary education system.
Till July, five BPEOs were at work, but on July 28, director of public instruction Pankaj Sharma suspended Samana-3 officer Sukdev Singla over mismanagement charge. The DPI said that during checking, Government Primary School, Bhalamgarh, was found to be run by a temporary teacher, as Singla had not appointed any permanent teacher in the school.
Each BPEO looks after at least 80 schools in the block, and now each have two to three extra blocks. All four BPEOs are women and under tremendous workload. “It is too difficult to manage multiple blocks and monitor the working and needs so many schools,” said a BPEO. “There’s midday meal, report preparation, balancing teacher-student strength, clearing bills, maintaining buildings, and other official work to look after. I feel the day is too short and I need more hours to complete my work.”
“When each BPEO is responsible for a large number of schools, we cannot expect quality. The BPEOs play a pivotal role but now much can one persons do?” said a primary-school teacher, requesting anonymity.
Despite several attempts, education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema could not be contacted. District education officer (primary) Sanjeev Kumar said: “We are aware of the shortage of staff and have informed the higher authorities. The posts will be filled soon.”