21 teachers posted in 6 schools for 170 students within 1 kilometre radius
Rationalisation of schools goes for a toss
The government schools continue to have disproportionate Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) in Kashmir throwing up a major challenge for the school education department.
The schools continue to have flawed PTR even after five years of rationalization of schools carried out by the school education department in 2015.
Besides having disproportionate PTR, the government has set up schools in a haphazard manner without following the parameters for establishment of the educational institutions.
In Kunnel village of Mawar zone in Kupwara district, around six schools are functioning within a radius of one kilometre. The department has posted 21 teachers in these six schools for 170 students.
Government Middle School (GMS) Kunnel is one such school established decades ago in the village. In the past, the school used to be abuzz with the students as parents from all the adjacent villages would enrol their kids in the school.
“The enrolment of this school used to be around 300 but after new schools were set up in the same village under the SSA scheme, the school saw a drastic downfall in the enrolment,” an official said.
As per the roll statement, there are around 40 students enrolled from primary to middle classes and 8 teachers posted in the GMS Kunnel.
Within a radius of one kilometer of this school, the government has set up five other schools including two schools which are set up at a stone’s throw from this institution.
“Primary school Muqdam Mohalla was established in Kunnel village in 2010. The building was constructed in a paddy field with no approach road for the school. Due to this the school did not receive any student for the admission,” an official said.
He said the teachers recruited under SSA for the school got appointed as General Line Teacher (GLT) following which the school was clubbed with GMS Kunnel.
A few meters away from GMS Kunnel, Primary school Lone Mohalla was also established under the SSA scheme. The school has three staff members and 23 students enrolled.
A few meters away from GMS Kunnel, Upper Primary school Kralpora is functional wherein the department has posted 6 teachers for 31 students. Less than half a kilometer away from this school, another primary school in Sheikhnar has less than 8 students and 3 teachers. Another school – government primary school Bhat Mohalla Sheikhnar is separately functioning with 62 students and 3 three teachers.
However, the department is verifying the authenticity of the student enrolment of these schools as there are complaints of fictitious enrolment shown by the teachers.
“This is the situation on ground even after five years of much hyped rationalization of schools was done. These schools are functioning like this from years together,” the official said.
The schools are functioning in such an haphazard manner despite the tall claims of the government to rationalize the staff in schools and utilize their services in teacher deficient schools.
“These orders remain confined to only papers with no implementation on ground. Otherwise the department can easily club all these schools which will function as one schools and surplus staff will be deputed to other schools on academic arrangement,” the official said. This is not the only case where schools are functioning in a haphazard manner but the schools are in mess in other districts and zones as well.
Chandoosa zone in Baramulla district is another case in place. The Government High School (GHS) Shirpora and Government Middle School (GMS) Parra Mohalla are only 100 meters away from each other and are functional as two separate schools.
“The student enrolment of high school is 40 and the department has posted 10 teachers in the school,” a school teacher said. Similarly, GMS Hajam Mohalla Bandipayeen and GMS Sofi Mohalla Bandipayeen are located at a distance of around 200 meters.
“GMS Gohan and GHS Gohan are located at a distance of only 50 meters. It would have been better for the government to club these schools and utilize the services of teachers properly,” and official said. Director School Education Kashmir Muhammad Younis Malik, when contacted, said he will seek a report from the zone.
“I will seek a report from concerned officials and see if we can club some of the schools and utilise the services of teachers properly,” he said.