Teacher’s Diary: ‘When ensuring order in an anarchy-ridden school shot up its attendance’
A primary school teacher from Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district recalls the times when her crusade against a highly chaotic social environment helped her reform a school. Not only did she succeed in making the school functional but also helped the students in excelling at academics. The school also witnessed a sharp spike in the attendance of the students.
Rakhi Agarwal 14 Jun 2023 1:57 PM GMT
Often, being a teacher in a rural setting challenges you to go beyond the call of duty. This is because I as a teacher cannot expect the students to be disciplined in the classroom if their social background is full of daily struggles which keep them from focusing on their studies.
In 2013, I was appointed as the principal of Primary School Janeta in Sambhal district’s Baniya Khera block in Uttar Pradesh. The condition of the school was far from academic and its premises were prone to unlawful assembly, encroachment, misuse by anti-social elements, and was marred by neglect.
The students used to use the premises for playing all day long, there was no gate to keep it safe and the ground adjacent to the school was reduced to a waste dumping site.
I appealed to the gram panchayat to shift the site of a prayer meeting to a different location from the school and got the school premises revamped which helped in the primary school gaining some respect amongst the rural community.
Once the villagers began respecting the school, they ensured that nobody vandalised the school property or misused its premises. The biggest change in the school was in terms of attendance by girl students. Initially, not even a single girl child attended the school but now the ratio of boys to girls is now comparable.
Overall, the attendance rose from 203 in 2013 to 603 by the year 2015. It increased from 200 to 279 between 2016-2017, 279 in 2017-2018, 400 in 2018-2019, 487 in 2020-2021, and 603 in 2021-2022.
As told to Danish Iqbal who interns for Gaon Connection