No lessons learnt, 110 Ludhiana govt schools function without principals
Testing times: Despite the poor show in Class 10 exams last year, govt is yet to fill posts of principals and headmasters, with three months left for the final examsUpdated: Nov 20, 2017 16:16 IST
Even as the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) examination results for Class 10 showed a failure rate of more than 42% last year, prompting chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to promise financial and policy support to improve the education system, a sizeable number of government schools in Ludhiana district continue to remain headless.
The district has 194 sanctioned posts of headmaster/headmistress and 180 of principal. While headmasters manage the functioning of high schools that have Classes 6 to 10, principals head senior secondary schools with Classes 6 to 12.
But posts of 20 principals and 90 headmasters, a sizeable 46%, have been vacant for the past two years, affecting the functioning of the government schools and quality of education, which may further have a cascading effect on the board results this year.
Principals, headmasters and headmistresses have the drawing and disbursing officer’s (DDO) powers and are responsible for the overall functioning of the school.
According to the information procured from the district education department, most of the empty posts of principal are in four blocks of rural areas — Jagraon, Raikot, Samrala and Khanna, while 83 of headmaster are vacant in rural areas, and seven in urban areas.
Among the worst-affected schools, Government Senior Secondary School (GSSS), Bassian, has no principal since March 31, 2016; GSSS, Lohatbaddi, since June 4, 2016; GSSS, Jhorron, since August 8, 2016; and GSSS, Hathoor, since September 30, 2016. GSSS, Macchiwara, Boys, has also been functioning without a principal for four months.
At GSSS, Lohatbaddi, that was upgraded from high school in June last year, the post of principal and four lecturers for major subjects are yet to filled, majorly affecting students’ education.
Baljit Kaur, who is meanwhile handling the officiating charge, said, “The state government upgraded the school, but forgot to provide the principal and required faculty. As such, we had to hire three teachers for the 240 students. These teachers are being paid from the school’s Parent Teacher Association funds, collected from students’ parents and teachers. These are normally meant to be reserve funds.”
She added, “Lecturers for political science, history, physical education and Punjabi have not been recruited since the school’s upgrade. How can the government expect good results in the absence of lecturers?”
Barjinder Kaur, in-charge of GSSS, Bassian, said, “It has been difficult managing the school since it went headless over a year ago. I take classes and also maintain records of the school, which naturally affects the quality of education.”
Punjab education secretary Krishan Kumar said, “The Department Promotion Committee (DPC) meeting was held last week, and station allotment is scheduled this week.”
First Published: Nov 20, 2017 16:10 IST