Bise Patra is 15 years old. He is a bright student and regularly features among the top few in class. This year of his education is crucial for him. He will be appearing for his metric exams which will mark the culmination of all his efforts till date. It has never been easy for him to pursue his education. He comes from a community who make their living from small farms and daily seasonal labour. But Bise is uncommonly committed. He left his parents who live in a remote village and now, lives with his uncle. He cycles many kilometers to his school every day. He dreams of being a teacher. He realizes the importance of the teaching profession. For the hundreds of children like him, around him, the teacher is a person who holds the key to their brighter futures. Unfortunately for Bise and his classmates, the teacher’s chair in their classroom sits empty.
Children from 5000 families across 7 to 8 villages depend on a single government primary and high school in in Satsama village, Redhakhola Block, District Sambhalpur, Odisha for their education. It used to be a secondary school that taught till the 8th grade. In 2008, the education department upgraded it to a higher secondary. But they yet haven’t appointed a teacher to teach the new classes. For two consecutive years, children have sat for their metric exams without being instructed by a teacher. The headmaster has deputed 2 teachers for two days of the week in which they cram the curriculum of both classes in the same short hour in the same camped classrooms. Sometimes, they fail to turn up. The quality of education is abysmal. Of all the students, Only 13 from the school have ever passed their metric. This is Bise’s year and with no teachers in place, the odds are against him.
Call to Action: Community Correspondent Mamta Patra made today’s video with the complete support of the students, the headmaster, the teachers and the parents.
“Everybody in the community has given the video their full support. These children deserve a fair chance to follow their dreams and aspirations. Please support their cause by calling up the School Inspector Mr. Sangam Sahoo on +98895602182 and tell him to look into the situation in the government school at Satsama village, Redhakhola Block and appoint teachers for standards 9th and 10th immediately and without further delay.”
“Thank you and a happy new year.”