Banihal, Aug 21: Government High School Bartund, falling in education zone Batote, like many other schools in Ramban district is grappling with the problem of severe shortage of staff and inadequate infrastructure to cater to the needs of 396 students.
High School Bartund, the last high school of Ramban district in tehsil Rajgarh, borders Doda district.
According to locals and the representatives of Bartund Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), eight to ten posts of teachers are lying vacant. Only one headmaster and five teachers are posted in this far-flung High School to teach 396 students, majority of whom come from poor families.
“While 8 posts of masters and one post of teachers are lying vacant. Apart from these posts, Junior Assistant and Grade IV posts are also vacant,” they told Greater Kashmir.
“Despite our several pleas, so far the education department has not been able to fill the vacant posts in the school which was upgraded to High School from Middle School in 2011,” they added.
As per school officials, one post of Master under general category is lying vacant. “Besides, all 7 posts of Masters sanctioned under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) are vacant; against four sanctioned posts of General Line Teachers, three have been filled and against two sanctioned Teacher-grade posts, one is lying vacant,” officials informed.
“In the name of the school building, High School Bartund has only four rooms for ten classes while another four rooms are reserved for the office; Plumbing lab; Information Technology lab and a kindergarten,” the PRI representatives said.
They alleged that recently, a newly promoted female master from Middle School Batote was posted at High School Bartund on June 27, 2023 but her order was later modified on August 1, 2023 by the Directorate of School Education Jammu. She was transferred back from HS Bartund to GHS Batote.
They said that a five-room building for HS Bartund under RMSA had been under construction since 2014, after a court case by the land owner. The under-construction building is now in dilapidated condition.
“We requested several times to education authorities in district Ramban for the appointment of teaching staff in H S Bartund but things have not moved yet although the mid-session is on,” they claimed.
Abdul Rasheed, a local, said that almost all the students studying in HS Bartund were from poor families and they were not able to send them to Ramban or Batote schools for better education.
Zonal Education Officer (ZEO), Batote Sukhdev Singh, when contacted over phone, told Greater Kashmir that the whole district was facing teaching staff issues and the biggest education zone Batote of Ramban district was also grappling with the same problem.
He said, “46 master posts; 22 teachers' and 23 posts of lectures are vacant in the education zone Batote. This is affecting the functioning of our primary to high schools.”
ZEO Sukhdev Singh said, “Efforts are being made to post a few more teachers for HS Bartund and we are also hopeful to get our share after promotion of teachers to masters grade. So far internal academic arrangements for understaffed institutions have been worked out for far-flung schools in Batote zone.”