Government schools reopening but where's the staff in Anantnag?

As class work is set to resume after around 18 months, most of the government schools in far-flung areas of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district are without teachers.

The Government Middle School NagbalHapatnar in Aishmuqam zone has only two female teachers to teach 100 students.

“Both will go on maternity leave in the second week of March, leaving the school without any teacher,” a source said.

He said four other teachers on sanctioned posts were working on “deployment basis” in other schools.

This though is not the only school facing staff crunch.

In Aishmuqam zone dozens of teachers are working on “deployment” in the schools of their convenience.

The Government Middle School, BehakNagbal has only three teachers for around 150 students.

“Three other teachers are working in other schools on ‘deployment basis,’” a source said.

He said that the Government Middle School ReshKulbul with a roll of 115 students has only two teachers working on a regular basis while three others posted there were working on “deployment basis”.

The Government Middle School, Grend, Aishmuqam has six teachers for 150 students but is without a regular head teacher.

The Government Middle School, LariporaKhurudPahalgam with a roll of 150 is also understaffed with only five teachers working there.

Similarly, the Government High School LariporaKalan, Pahalgam, with a roll of 200 students has only six teachers. The school is headless too.

The Government Middle School Dragadan has four teachers, one among them on “deployment” to teach 120 students.

Similarly, in other zones of Shangus, Vailoo, Verinag and Srigufwara the concerned authorities have “illegally deployed” dozens of other teachers at the places of “their choice”.

“The schools in the upper reaches of these zones with a huge roll are without teachers as hardly anyone is willing to join there. They use their influence and get deployed in schools of their choice,” a source said.

Interestingly, Government High School Chowgam in Shangus is without a mathematics teacher for the past four years and English teacher for the past two years.

“The school with a roll of around 200 students had also started ‘Smart KG’ classes. However, with only five teachers to teach 50 classes, the students remain idle most of the day,” a source said. “How can one run the school without a subject expert?”

A primary school in Vehdan in Srigufwara zone has two teachers for 100 students.

“One of those teachers is also working as Zonal Coordinator Inclusive Education due to which the class work gets affected,” the source said.

In Government Middle School, Overa of the same zone, for the 250 enrolled students there are four teachers.

“The ‘deployment’ of teachers is a brazen violation of the directives of the administrative department banning the deployment of teachers in government-run schools,” a senior teacher said.

He said it had affected the academic affairs of the schools.

“How can we do justice to the students,” the teacher asked

Another teacher said, “The Government Middle Schools have at least nine classes and the teachers have to teach at least 45 subjects. After ‘Smart KG’ classes were added to the government schools, most of the schools remain understaffed.”

Chief Education Officer, Anantnag, Abdul Rub Shad said the deployment of staff was hampering the smooth functioning of schools.

“We are working on the rationalisation of teachers to address the problem of staff crunch,” he said.