Schoolgirls arm-twist govt for more teachers

Observing hunger strikes and locking school gates are the new approach that girl students in government schools of Rajasthan are adopting to ensure an adequate number of teachers.

Driven by shortage of teachers and inadequate infrastructure in government schools, the students specially the girls have been holding protests every now and then in various parts of the state.

The students have found the new approach as the most effective instrument to convey their demands to higher authorities. Two weeks ago,  a similar protest was held in Rajasmand district where students at three government girls’ schools in Bhim, Barar and Diver arrived even before the staff and locked the school gates.

Over 300 girls sat on an indefinite hunger strike against the dismal state of computer labs and lack of teachers in their school. Local administration succumbed to their protest and as many as 10 teachers were deputed in these schools within 24 hours.

“We performed poorly in exams because there was no one to teach us. It is not our fault. We held protest and administration deputed 10 teachers. No one listens you in this country until you raise you voice,” said Neetu Meena, a student of class 10 in Rajasmand district.

Such protests by girl students have become a regular feature in Rajasthan. Each time the girls accuse the government of being ‘gender bias’ and not ensuring quality education in their schools.

A week before, similar agitations were held in the government school in Achrol area of Jaipur district where girls along with boys locked the school for five hours demanding immediate deputation of English and Commerce facility.

Sikar district also witnessed a similar protest last month when 300 girls locked their school accusing teachers for not taking classes regularly. Girls alleged that there were 20 teachers in the school and only five teachers are available any day.

Entire district administration had to rush to the spot to appease the girls with a written assurance. On Thursday, schoolgirls, in two separate incidents, blocked state highway in Dausa district and another road in Madhorajpura in Jaipur district.

Girls were on the road to demand adequate teaching faculty in the schools. Amidst such protests, state government too has admitted shortage of teachers in the state. “In my estimation, Rajasthan lacks around 13,000 teachers and lecturers for government schools and colleges. I promise you that shortage  of teachers will not be a problem in any of the village of Rajasthan,” said Vasu Devnani, Education Minister.

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