Gram pradhans of various villages, school committee members and parents of children under the banner of Sanyukta Gram Sabha Manch Garu sent a letter to Chief Minister Hemant Soren underlining the education scenario.
Around 100 parents and students demonstrated against single-teacher schools and demanded teacher postings as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Jharkhand’s Latehar district Thursday (April 13).
Parents and children from 16 villages of Garu Block assembled at the block headquarters and took out a rally with slogans: “Kya chahta Latehar? Shiksha ka adhikaar! Baalbutru ki pukaar, teacher de sarkar! (What does Latehar need? The Right to Education! The children have only one call, the government should provide teachers)”.
Gram pradhans of various villages, school committee members and parents of children under the banner of Sanyukta Gram Sabha Manch Garu sent a letter to Chief Minister Hemant Soren underlining the education scenario. Development economist Jean Dreze was also part of the protest march.
The letter said: “In this block, almost half of all primary schools have a single teacher. Are you (the CM) aware this is a gross violation of the Right to Education Act? Under this Act, every school must have at least two teachers and at least one teacher for every 30 children.”
The gram pradhans were quoted in the letter: “It is impossible to provide quality education in single-teacher schools. The children are left to themselves when the teacher is absent or busy with record-keeping. Even when the teacher is available, how is she supposed to teach children of five different grades on her own? In Garu, single-teacher schools have 48 pupils on average. One of them has 145 pupils!”
Of Garu’s 40 government primary schools, 17 have a single teacher. Two middle schools also have a single teacher. Under the RTE Act, every primary school must have at least two teachers and at least one teacher for every 30 children. Single-teacher schools are illegal.
This problem is not restricted to Garu Block. In Jharkhand as a whole, almost 30 per cent of government primary schools are single-teacher schools, according to Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) data. Most of the students in these schools are from low-income families and marginalised communities.
Poonam Kumari, a middle school student from Rud village, said her school needs at least six more teachers to teach multiple subjects as opposed to only one teacher for 145 students. Parent Sandeep Oraon from Gotag village told the reporters that his child’s school has only one teacher who is often busy with administration-related work. “This has led to many days with no teaching at all,” he said.
Parents from Latu, Dergaon, and Jaygir also discussed the situation of their children’s schools and demanded an immediate investigation and an increase in school teachers as per the RTE.
Source: Indian Express