Unsafe buildings force govt schools to have double shifts

  • Deepa Sharma Sood, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2014 13:57 IST

Due to unsafe buildings and classrooms, students of more than five government schools have been shifted to other schools, which are now running in double shift.

These schools work in double shift due to shortage of classrooms, but according to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, there is no provision for any school to work in double shift.

The school heads are in a fix as winters are approaching and they have to change school timings. With that, the students studying in the afternoon shift will suffer as the school will finish at 6pm and it will get dark by that time.

In May, the building of Government High School, Chowani Mohalla, was declared unsafe by the public works department and more than 80 students were shifted to Government Senior Secondary School, Kundanpuri.

The Kundanpuri school has strength of 500 students and students of one of their classes sit in the science laboratory. Eighty students of Chawani Mohalla school have been given five classrooms, one room for office and a computer laboratory.

Another school, Government Middle School, Miller Ganj, whose building was declared unsafe five months ago has shifted students of Classes 1 to 8 to Government Senior Secondary School, Miller Ganj. The school is running in double shift since July.

Principal of Government Middle School, Miller Ganj, Barjinder Kaur said, “The school building was declared unsafe. Keeping the safety of students in mind, we shifted all students of Classes 1 to 8. It is difficult to run the school in double shift as Classes 1 to 10 come in the morning and Classes 11 and 12 in the afternoon. Now, the weather is changing and winters are approaching and the school will get over at 5.30pm, so the students of Classes 11 and 12 will face difficulty in reaching home.”

Government Senior Secondary School, Theerke, is also running in double shift from the past one month. More than 500 students of Government Primary School, Theerke, were shifted to Government Senior Secondary School, Theerke, which already had strength of 520 students.

A parent, Asha Sharma said, “My daughter is studying at Government Primary School, Theerke, and she comes back home at 5.45pm. Winters are approaching and I am worried as it will get dark at 5.30pm and how she will reach home alone.”

District education officer (DEO), secondary, Paramjit Kaur Chahal, said, “We are sending the requirements to the head office for the construction of new classrooms and till then the schools will run in double shifts.”

DEO, elementary, Gurjot Singh said, “According to the RTE Act, there is no such provision, but for students’ safety we have shifted them to safer buildings. As per directions from director general school education GK Singh, no classes should be conducted in an unsafe building. As soon as we will get the funds for the construction, we will shift the students back to newly constructed classrooms.”

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