411 kms away is a small village in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Kalaghatagi.
Kalaghatagi is a land of talent and skill and the main profession of the taluk is farming. But Unfortunately not everything is well in the taluk as they are struck with shortage of teachers. This is one such problem that has been there in the taluk for a really long time. This problem has been in this taluk for the last eight years atleast say B.B Nayak a senior teacher in HP School Linganakoppa. BEO officers have come and gone and they sing the same old song saying they will definitely fill up the vacancies in that year but just like every year it remains just a statement. “There are 65 vacancies still there” say Mahavir their block education officer. It is sad to see that in a country which is growing at a rapid pace, it is facing a problem like this.
Leave alone the students, the teachers themselves are finding it tough to teach as they are burdened with so much work. They have to teach subjects that they may not be comfortable with.
“Its heavy work for the teachers and we cannot concentrate on the students so its a burden for teachers” quotes BB nayak.
“And we have to teach all subjects like kannada maths and science and we are finding it very difficult” adds Manda Walvekar the principal of HP School linganakoppa
There are a few schools in the taluk where there are extra teachers but instead of appointing them in the taluk they are appointed to towns like hubbali and Dharwad where the requirements of teachers are not that much and that leaves the place unfilled in this taluk.
“If sufficient teachers are not there their learning process becomes difficult and they do not understand concepts of education” adds Nayak again.
The students struggle to concentrate when the teacher is teaching them a subject that does not belong to their grade and as a result the students lose focus and touch to whatever they were taught. The government has their way of handling it. They have a scheme where 30 students are assigned to one teacher but here the teachers have a tough time because since the teachers are less, there are more than 30 students in the class and the teachers are finding it difficult. Hence to tackle this problem of the teacher shortage the school management has to hire guest teachers to try and fill up the gap of teachers in their schools. But that too has a disadvantage, The guest teachers who are hired to fill up the vacancies can only be there for a year that is 10 months to be exact and after the year is over the school management once again goes in the lookout for new guest teachers. The school management on the other hand are extremely frustrated that the BEO is extremely light on the matter even after so many years and so many complaints made. “We have asked him to give some teachers but he is saying he will try” adds a frustreated Manda Walvekar again.
Also as in one hand as the teachers teach double triple subjects. The teachers also has to do clerk works as even the clerk spot has not been filled by the BEO.
While so much has been spoken about the vacancies that the teachers are not coming, there is a big reason as to why this is happening and the reason is transportation. According to the teachers one of the main reason for the problem is the transportation and they say that there are hardly 3-4 busses that travels in the taluks. The BEO agreeing to the transport problem went on to add that the forest covering around the taluk is another reason behind why the teachers don’t come to teach.
While transportation is a major problem for teachers who travel a lot to reach the schools but also a big problem for other people who has to travel frequently for work.
“For going to bigger town like Hubbali, Dharwad, Mundgod we have busses but to travel to within the taluks we face difficulty so the government should increase the bus frequency” say Kumar a Kalaghatagi resident. People here have to wait for long hours and only then they get to see a bus. Sometimes they have to manage by hitchhiking or sometimes take private vehicles which again is not time bound. They are then forced to take auto rickshaws and the auto rickshaws most of the time charge more than usual.
Travelling is thus affecting the people of Kalaghatagi in a big way, and in some way or the other also affecting the lives of the children who dream big to have a wonderful future. However, inspite of the blamegame that the BEO has played for Forest and transport. They finally agreed that they have failed to deliver their promise to fill up the vacancies by saying “We have not reached our target of Quality education”.
At the end of the day , whatever is the reason be the students are getting affected in the end.
Probably the BEO can fix this problem if they step in and make sure that instead of transferring overstaffed teachers of the taluk to hubbali and dharwad, they can allot them in the taluk so that the the vacancies can be filled. Also that will lessen the travelling time of the teachers.
The BEO however concluded by saying this year they will definitely fill up the vacancies, On whether the BEO delivers this year only time will tell. But we can hope that they do deliver and make sure that the vacancies are filled.