Only 2 teachers teach 226 students in this school

At Uttardariyapur Primary School in Malda, West Bengal, two teachers, one of them the head master, look after and teach 226 children, varying in age from 6 to 12 years. The school is from Standard I to Standard V. They have to teach bengali, english, maths, environmental sciences…..

According to the Right to Education Act 2009, there should be 1 teacher for every 30 children. Which means the school needs at least 5 more teachers. With none in sight, these two honourable men keep struggling to impart knowledge. They scurry between classrooms. They keep the school open till 4 p.m. Still, as they themselves admit, they are not able to get through the entire syllabus. They are sometimes forced to alternate classes or skip them all together on certain days.

Could the apathy towards the school be because only dalit and muslim children attend? One certainly hopes not. Yet the response from the Sub-Inspector of Schools sounds rather casual. “If the Head Master asks us for more teachers we will send him some from other schools.” Surely the Head Master has already made several such requests. And does this imply that other schools in the district are adequately staffed?

He goes on to say that he ‘hopes’ new teachers will be joining in 6 months. The authorities must be aware that the head master will retire next January. And is already concerned and worried how his younger colleague will manage on his own if no more teachers are sent to the school.

Will the school just shut down for want of staff? Look at the shining young faces of the children, eager to learn. Who are aware that they are not being taught all they should be. How will they cope in the higher classes later if the foundation is weak.

Let’s add our voice to make sure these children get the basic education they deserve. Demand more teachers to teach at Uttardariyapur Primary School by calling Manas Choube, the concerned School Inspector at +91 9126329833

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Soriya Banu.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’  They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges.

See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org and take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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