SHILLONG, April 15: Severe anomalies are emerging in the classroom coaching in government deficit pattern schools in the state. Classroom periods are getting affected since teachers do not turn up to their classes whereas students have to deal with off periods almost on a daily basis. According to a random survey, several such schools in the city have been noticed with these anomalies calling for immediate action from their respective managing committees and the state government, at large. Parents and guardians are worried over the trend since the limited classroom coaching time gets further affected by absentee teachers.
It has come to light that as many as four periods out of seven remains off in certain schools in greater Laban whereas an average of two to three off periods is a usual affair in schools in Mawlai, Laitumkhrah and other parts of the city. Students of these schools are often heard narrating how they spent their days in the school by simply sitting, instructed sleeping for want of teachers in their classrooms. The trend is more in the lower primary level while upping the ante to the primary level, too. As a result valuable classroom coaching are not only getting threatened but the ongoing trend here is a replica of the rural schools in the state where teachers are habitual absentees. The lack of school inspection is also to be blamed for this.
Parents and guardians are a worried lot and rightly so. They are of the opinion that if students remain absent then the teachers are supposed to track their attendance but who is supposed to track the attendance of teachers. “The trend here is disturbing”, they observed while casting aspersions that the school managing committees are hand-in-glove with the teaching fraternity of certain schools. They pointed that the state government is only sending notifications and proformas to the schools in every district of the state, which are being filled and sent back to the government without any authentication.
There are also cases when a single teacher continues to take two to three periods together or else the classroom may well be given a holiday for the day. These parents narrated the leisure hours of their wards in schools since teachers are nowhere to be seen. According to them, these teachers are doing “pure government service” whereas some teachers reasoned that the trend is to be attributed to the lack of any benefits from the side of the government except quarterly disbursement of salaries, while questioning, how they can have “ownership” towards teaching.
Meanwhile, parents and guardians have also expressed concern about the time consuming roll calls in schools, which they say, has been rightly being taken up in the ongoing budget assembly. There are observations that the condition in private and missionary run schools are devastating since classrooms in these institutions are overcrowded. The scene is comparatively better in the government deficit pattern schools.
Interestingly, guardians want to know the ratio of absentee teachers in the state which they feel must be matching the state’s school dropout ratio. There are opinions that Meghalaya may be rated among one of the highest teacher absentee ratios in the country.