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Shortage of classrooms plagues govt schools

punjab Updated: Sep 08, 2013 20:09 IST
Deepa Sharma Sood

Several government schools of the district are ailing due to shortage of classrooms students. Consequently, while students of some schools are being forced to attend classes either in the open or in laboratories and libraries, other schools are forced to run classes in two shifts.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Model Town, shows the descriptive picture of the prevailing situation.

A visit to the school revealed that schoolteachers are taking classes in open, as the school has become the centre for compartment exams of Class 10 and 12. Students of seven classes are sitting in open. However, the school was already facing the shortage of classrooms and few classes were being taken in science laboratory, and library.

One of the teacher requesting anonymity said, "The school has strength of 950 students and has 23 classrooms and we need 30 more classrooms. One classroom is used for five things- students of Class 7 A sit there, the room is used as SST corner, as mathematics corner, as scout and guides room and medical room."

"Students of Class 8 A are having their classes in science laboratory. Class 11 A students are sitting in library. So, due to scarcity of classrooms, we are using the laboratories and library for teaching," the teacher said.

Another teacher of the school, who wished not to be named, said, "As our school has become the centre for compartment, so we are conducting seven classes in open or in corridors. It is very hot these days, but we are not left with any other option. Teachers of subjects, like elective Hindi, Punjabi and English want a separate room, but due to shortage of classrooms we are helpless and adjusting the students in the existing classrooms."

"The school has no playground but there is a park on the backside of school but the residents of the area do not allow the students to enter the park. However, according to municipal corporation's map, the park area comes under the school," the teacher said.

The teacher said, "During rains, the water enters in the classrooms and sometimes even the sewerage water comes inside the school. The water sample of the school also failed last year, so we have asked the students to drink water, which we are getting from the submersible pump. We are installing RO in the school soon."

School principal Niar Singh refused to comment and directed to talk to the DEO secondary.

The situation of other government schools is no different as Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, is running the school in double shift due to shortage of classrooms from the past three years.

Rajesh Kumar, principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Basti Jodhewal, said, "We have total strength of 640 students and there is shortage of classrooms. Our school has been shifted to Government Senior Secondary School, Sekhewal which is also running in double shift."

When contacted, district education officer (DEO), secondary, Paramjit Kaur Chahal said, "I am not aware that government school is facing shortage of classrooms. As the school has been made the centre for compartment exams due to which students might have to sit in corridor. If any school is facing shortage, then they can write to us. They have to fill a form every year and if there is any problem regarding infrastructure, staff, they should mention it in that form so that we can resolve the problem."

What the law says
According to the RTE Act, every school must have one classroom per teacher but schools in the district have shortage of classrooms.