With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner,the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has started wooing voters. The Left Front-led civic body that did not set up a single primary school in the last five months opened seven schools in February.
Significantly,the existing 240 schools under the KMC jurisdiction are suffering from lack of teachers as every school has nearly two teachers for around 150 to 200 students. After the new schools,the KMC has 247 schools in the city. The teachers are forced to spend their time in making arrangements and preparing the mid-day meal as there is no one else to do it. Besides,they are often deployed for other assignments,including formulating the BPL list and launching an awareness campaigning for vector-borne diseases.
Despite this,the KMC established seven schools without recruiting teachers. Two of these schools are Urdu medium and three are Hindi medium. The KMC has taken over two private schools and constructed a new building for the remaining five schools. The new schools are located at Wards 138,58,64,67 and 44. Even though the civic body boasts of successfully implementing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,a recent survey reveals many unqualified candidates were appointed as teachers in primary schools. Many of them did not even undergo basic teachers training but have been promoted to higher positions in schools,said a joint survey conducted by the personal and the education department.
There will be no dearth of teachers. We will recruit teachers on contractual basis soon, said a senior civic official. Mayor Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said the civic authorities had been planning to set up new schools for long.
It is not an election gimmick. We have opened new schools as we wanted to boost primary education in the city. We have plans to set up more schools. We will start appointing teachers soon, he added.