Two government-aided girls' schools in West Bengal's Nadia district have no student in their rolls for the last three years but the teachers and other staff are drawing salaries each month.
There are 14 teachers in two schools - Uma Shashi Nimnataro Uchha Balika Bidyalay and Tarak Das Shiksha Sadan Junior High School for girls - who mostly while away their time by reading newspapers, magazines and plain gossiping.
As there are no students in the schools, there are no managing committees either.
Both the schools are housed in good buildings where there are facilities like drinking water, toilets, common rooms and others.
Sources said Khabir Uddin Ahamed, former CPI(M) MP, had donated Rs two lakh to the
Tarak Das Shiksha Sadan Junior High School for girls to erect the school building.
Shibdas Mukherjee, former Congress MLA from Krishnagar (East) had also donated Rs one lakh to the school for the same purpose.
Deepika Ghosh, headmistress of Umashashi Nimnataro Uchha Balika Bidyalaya, said, "The student strength has been going down steadily for several years. We drew attention of the state's education authorities and asked for transfer."
Ghosh said some teachers and non-teaching staff had been transferred to other government or government-aided schools.
"At present, there are seven teachers and two non-teaching staff in the school, which was established in 1969 as part of the government's policy to spread women's education," she said.
In 2009, Ghosh said, 85 students had been transferred to other schools on the instruction of authorities.
She regretted that at a time when there was a dearth of good teachers in the state, some highly qualified teachers in subjects like English, Physics, Bengali, Geography and physical Education are wasting their time doing nothing.
"We have been requesting higher authorities for the last three years to transfer us to another school. But I am sorry to say that our requests fell on deaf years," she rued.
Shraboni Mukherjee, headmistress of Tarak Das Shiksha Sadan Junior High School for girls, said there were now five teachers in her school and there was no non-teaching staff.
The last recruitment for the school, established in 1973, was done in 2006 when a geography teacher was appointed.
Biswajit Biswas, the district inspector of School, Nadia said, "I informed my higher authority about transfer of the teachers in the two schools. I am yet to get any order in this regard."
Biswas, however, said the government recognition of the schools had been withdrawn for absence of students since 2007.
Asked what led to this sorry situation, the headmistresses point out that since the schools have classes upto eight only, most parents find it difficult to get their wards admitted to another school.
So, they look for plus 2 schools only, they expained.
Abhinav Chandra, Nadia district magistrate, said, “I will look into the matter and will take the necessary steps very soon."