3 teachers for lone student at school
Published : Saturday, 25 August, 2018 at 9:29 PM Count : 278
While scores of India's Punjab Government schools are grappling with an acute staff crunch, the government is shelling out Rs 1.85 lakh per month towards the salary of three teachers who are teaching the lone student at Government Middle School in Kothe Malluana here.
The Tribune team visited the school on Friday morning and found one of the teachers teaching the solitary Class VIII student while another one was sitting in the office.
The third one, a physical education teacher, was on a sports tournament duty in a nearby school. The other two are Punjabi and Hindi teachers. None of the three is local. That they commute from other parts of the district was evident from the two cars parked on the premises. When asked as to who teaches him key subjects like science and social studies, one of the teachers, pleading anonymity, said, “We manage it on our own. We have divided all subjects among us.”
On what they do on the day the lone student doesn’t turn up, he claimed he is quite sincere and attends the school daily.
Interestingly, not so long ago, the school had five teachers. However, the science teacher got transferred while the social studies teacher was sent to a nearby school having a vacant post.
The matter regarding the school came to the notice of Education Secretary Krishan Kumar during surprise checks on July 28. Mehraj, incidentally, is the ancestral village of the Chief Minister.
Government Senior Secondary School (Boys) Principal Harnek Singh, who also has charge of the Malluana middle school, said, “The middle school never had a good strength. As far as I remember, it had a strength ranging between 15 and 20 in the last one decade.”
He attributed the “single student scenario” to the fact that the Malluana middle school is located on the outskirts of the village and thus parents don’t prefer to enrol their wards here. Though the middle school has some palatial houses around it, their inhabitants, who are big landlords, prefer to enrol their kids at reputed schools located in Rampura.The middle school also has a primary school attached to it.
However, the primary wing also has just two students who are taught by a volunteer. Surprisingly, these two are also the children of midday meal worker engaged at the school. Malluana middle school earlier had two students. Sources said the
Education Department had recently written to the school authorities to shift both students to a nearby school.
However, the parents of only one of them agreed to that. The mother of Mehakpreet Singh, the lone student, didn’t give her consent for the same.
DEO (Elementary) Baljit Kumar said they’ve already sent a proposal to the department for transferring the three teachers out of Malluana middle school and shut it down while also shifting the lone student to a nearby school.