Abhishek Kumar Dash is a Community Correspondent from Nuapada district, Odisha. His dream was to become an engineer. Though he enrolled in a B.Sc. program, he was forced to drop out halfway through, as his family faced dire financial circumstances. He then started and gave up a successful business, to become a social activist because he felt the need for…
“Children are the future of our society. But if we cannot educate them, what sort of future can we hope for?” The question is one that troubles IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Abhishek Kumar Das.
In his video, Abhishek discusses the understaffing crisis currently plaguing certain educational institutions run by the government in Odisha. The Sarabanga Nodal Upper Primary school of Nuapada district falls among this category of victims.
While sections 19 and 25 of the Right to Education Act clearly stipulate that a school should have at least ten teachers, this one has been functioning with no more than five. Bereft of instructors, the children’s grades have suffered and many have been forced to abandon their education altogether. What was once a fairly prestigious institution has, through a campaign of sustained neglect, found itself gradually relegated to the graveyard of good intentions.
Our story today is, however, not entirely bleak. Video Volunteers interviewed Abhishek Kumar Das and he informed us that, since the initial filming, his efforts to bring change have borne some success:
“A new teacher was appointed in January 2013, and the District Inspector of Schools tells me that three more will be taken on in June, at the start of the new session. If he sticks to this promise, all should be well. I will of course keep following up on the situation.”
This predicament is, nonetheless, not limited to Sarabanga Nodal Upper Primary School. A seasoned children’s rights activist himself, Abhishek continued to discuss the issue with us:
“This problem is rampant in government-run establishments of Odisha today. It is one of the major crises of our region. People are losing their faith in public schools. Teachers are interested in the progress of their students, but if there are no teachers to start with, what progress can we talk of? Parents and guardians often choose to send their children to private schools nowadays. That is all very well for those who can afford this luxury, but what of the large majority that cannot? It can only result in the deepening of an already existing social divide. Those with the means will continue to advance, while the poor and the underprivileged are left behind.”
We hope, therefore, that Abhishek’s video today can catch the attention of the general public and help right an imbalance that has been in existence for far too long now.
Call to action: Please call District inspector of Schools Mr Lalit Mohan Khamari on 06678223296 and ask him to ensure that the three more teachers promised in June are appointed.
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