Thursday, 7 July, 2022
HomeIn PicturesA day in the life of primary school students in Gujarat, as...

A day in the life of primary school students in Gujarat, as shorthanded teachers multitask

BJP govt in Gujarat has said 700 state-run primary schools have a single teacher for classes between one and eight. ThePrint captures scenes from some of these schools.

Text Size:

New Delhi: Replying to questions raised by Congress MLAs in March, the BJP government in Gujarat had said that 700 government-run primary schools in the state have a single teacher for classes between one and eight.

The government had added that 100 such schools are in Kachchh district, 74 in tribal districts of Mahisagar and 59 in Tapi. There are 33 other districts which have a high number of schools with single teachers.

ThePrint visited six such primary schools in Gujarat, three in Kachchh district and three in tribal areas of Mahisagar, comprising mostly students from the Bhil tribe.

In its travels across Mahisagar, ThePrint passed a vehicle packed with students, holding on to their clipboards as they returned from their exams. A school teacher told ThePrint that many students in the district do not have school bus facilities and depend on these public jeeps or walk for kilometers.

The first school, Mena Varg-I government lower primary school in Batakwada village in Mahisagar, was some three kilometers away from where the main village road gave way to a red-earth lane, inaccessible by any transport.

A lone woman in a yellow saree stood watching as a child swept the floor. There were a total of seven students in the school at the time of ThePrint’s visit, the others were attending a marriage ceremony in the village.

The school’s two teachers — one of them the woman in yellow — have both retired, but continue to take classes as no replacement has been found for them yet.

In Kachchh, the first school visited by ThePrint was the Shree Shakti Nagar primary school. While a few students were running about, one of the students was armed with an axe and engaged in trimming a shrub inside the school compound. A few others were removing the branches as they fell.

The school’s only teacher had asked them to trim the bush, while he finished some office work. The school had around 14-15 students at the time.

Most of the students here were outside their classes, playing, and a Class 5 student, when asked if they faced any problem because of the only teacher, said, “we do not have any issue”. Some were engaged in odd jobs around the school, repairing locks, watering the plants etc.

In Angiya Nana primary school in Kachchh, two Class 5 students were teaching those in classes one to three, as their teacher evaluated their examination answer sheets.

Students in most of the schools visited by ThePrint did not wear any uniforms. The only exception was Shree Shakti Nagar school in Kachchh district.

Here are a few glimpses from the schools.

Students in Mahisagar sit on the bonnet of a public vehicle as they return home from school | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students in Mahisagar sit on the bonnet of a public vehicle as they return home from school | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Two children run across the road in Kachchh, as the school bell rings to indicate the start of school | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Two children run across the road in Kachchh, as the school bell rings to indicate the start of school | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
A tribal child (where) walks back home from school | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
A tribal child in Mahisagar walks back home from school | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Two girls walk to school across stretches of the Aravalli hills| Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Two girls walk to school across stretches of the Aravalli hills| Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Two students at Shree Shakti Nagar school in Kachchh district work patiently, as their teacher (not in the photo), attends to other students | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Two students at Shree Shakti Nagar school in Kachchh district work patiently, as their teacher (not in the photo) attends to other students | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Ushaben Arjunbhai Katara, a teacher who has already retired from Mena Varg-I government lower primary school in Batakwada village, Mahisagar district, but continues to take classes, watches as a student sweeps the floor | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Ushaben Arjunbhai Katara, a teacher who has already retired from Mena Varg-I government lower primary school in Batakwada village, Mahisagar district, but continues to take classes, watches as a student sweeps the floor | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
In Kachchh, two children walk to school with their mother | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
In Kachchh, two children walk to school with their mother | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
In Shree Shakti Nagar school in Kachchh, a student repairs a lock, as another stands by watching | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
In Shree Shakti Nagar school in Kachchh, a student repairs a lock, as another stands by watching | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students at a primary school in Angiya Nana in Kachchh district | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students at a primary school in Angiya Nana in Kachchh district | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students of Shree Shakti Nagar school pose for the camera | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students of Shree Shakti Nagar school pose for the camera | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Class five students of Angiya Nana primary school sit with their books, as their teacher (not in the photo) teaches two classes simultaneously | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Class five students of Angiya Nana primary school sit with their books, as their teacher (not in the photo) teaches two classes simultaneously | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students in Mahisagar district travel to school in an overcrowded public transport, paying five rupees for one way | Photo: Manisha Mondal |ThePrint
Students in Mahisagar district travel to school on overcrowded public transport, paying Rs 5 each way | Photo: Manisha Mondal |ThePrint
Students of the primary school in Angiya Nana village in Kachchh district wait for their teacher, who is occupied in some administrative work | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Students of the primary school in Angiya Nana village in Kachchh district wait for their teacher, who is occupied in some administrative work | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Vijay Kumar Patel teaches a combined class of students from classes four and five at the Angiya Nana primary school | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Vijay Kumar Patel teaches a combined class of students from classes four and five at the Angiya Nana primary school | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Also read: Class 5 students as teachers, low attendance — Gujarat govt schools don’t paint ‘vibrant’ picture


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

×