Bihar school has two teachers and a cook for single student
The low student-teacher ratio has been a problem across the country, however, in Gaya there’s a government school that has two teachers for one student, besides there is also a cook who prepares mid-day meal for the lone student.
The exchequer has to pay about Rs 59,000 every month for the education of the lone student of class one, who studies in one-storey school building having four classrooms besides a kitchen. The state government pays about Rs 58,000 for the two teachers employed in the school and Rs 1,500 for the cook deputed there.
Located about 22 km south from Gaya district, the Mansabigha government primary school, under Khizarsarai police station in Chiraili panchayat is catching attention for the ‘high student-teacher ratio’.
Mukhiya, Chiraili panchayat, Dharmaraj Paswan, said the school was quite old but people in the locality were more inclined towards taking ‘quality education’ from private schools that are in plenty in the locality. “The whole area has transformed as a market place, so there are many options of private schools for the people, so they shy away from attending the Mansabigha primary school,” he said, adding the quality of education imparted by the teachers in government school was poor, so people have moved to private institutions.
He said the Mansabigha village was having about 30-35 houses of upper caste Bhumihars besides 10-12 houses of Paswans. “People want quality education so they prefer private school, instead of government one,” said Paswan.
The lone, ‘pricey’ student, Jhanvi Kumari, who is a Paswan by caste, gets special attention of the two teachers. The mid-day meal for her is prepared by a cook Gyanti Devi, who is deputed at the school. “Sometimes the food for her is even brought from nearby hotel to feed her, as preparing for a student sometimes becomes a difficult task,” said one of the teacher Priyanka Kumari.
She added that altogether nine students were enrolled in the school, but just one attended the classes. “She will also leave the school after sometime,” she said. When asked about the syllabus and how her exam was taken, Kumari said, “We teach her to our best ability.”
Another teacher, Satyendra Prasad, who is the in-charge principal, could not be contacted, as he did not pick up the phone. “His educational qualifications are under scrutiny for submitting forged documents to the education department,” said an official in district education office. Since Thursday morning he has stopped attending the school and even picking up the phone.
District education officer, Mustafa Hussain Mansuri, said the enrollment was low, as the population in the locality was scattered and the parents preferred nearby available schools. He claimed due to winter just one student was attending the school. “We will soon launch a drive to sensitize the parents to send the students to the school, which may increase the enrollment in the school,” he said.
Khizarsarai block development officer, Uday Kumar, expressed surprise over the condition of the school. “I will inquire why the enrollment in the school is low,” he said.