First smart school yet to recruit adequate staffhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/first-smart-school-yet-to-recruit-adequate-staff/

First smart school yet to recruit adequate staff

School constructed to balance out city’s high pupil-teacher ratio cannot maintain own staff

School constructed to balance out city’s high pupil-teacher ratio cannot maintain own staff

The government’s first ‘smart’ school,in Sector 53 has not been deterred by roadblocks and will be holding its inaugural session this year.

Though the classes began in April,the science and social science labs are still under construction and are slated for completion only by next year. The school,which was primarily constructed to balance out the high pupil-teacher ratio in the neighbouring schools,is yet to recruit adequate staff to maintain its own proper student-teacher ratio as prescribed under the Right To Education Act.

There are 800 students studying in the school presently but there is no criteria for enrollment. “Students from classes I to V from the Government High School (GHS) in Badheri and classes VI to VIII have been shifted here from GHS Kajheri. For class IX,we have 90 students in two sections from GHS 52,” says headmistress Raj Bala.

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Classes VI to X have almost 50 students as compared to the prescribed 35 in each section and classes I to V also have more than 40 students leading to a skewed pupil-teacher ratio. “Last year in October,applications were invited and around 10 teachers were recruited through an e-content development competition at the State Institute of Education. Later,15 more teachers were admitted from different schools,purely on voluntary basis. We still require 40 teachers in total,” says Harman Deep Kaur,a class II teacher.

Harman says that new admissions have also been made for this session and many students have joined here from neighbouring private schools. “In classes I and II,initially,we had only 11 and 13 transferred students but after fresh admissions almost 70 percent of the class comprises of new students.”

The teachers say that the students’ performance in the Formative Assessment (FA) has been satisfactory.

“The parents only think of mid-day meals and trained aayahs to look after their kids here. But we are happy as long as the students turn up,” says Jyotsna,a Social Science teacher for class VI to VII.

The headmistress says that most of the students are from neighbouring villages and belong to below average households. In the parent-teachers meeting,no parents can even put their signature on the register,she says. “In the summer vacations some of the students had gone to their hometowns in UP and Bihar and till now haven’t resumed their classes. But largely,80 to 85 percent students attend regularly,” says Bala.

The students,however,express their enthusiasm and pride to be in a school which is one of its kind. “My previous school GHS Kajheri had no proper drinking water and toilets. The classrooms were cramped and we sat on the floor,here we have classrooms with ventilators and proper benches and a playground to play,” says Sapna,a class VI student.

Each classroom in the smart school is wi-fi enabled and has a podium with an in-built laptop screen,microphone and a connection with a projector. It also has a computer lab with 20 desktops.

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