Thursday, July 25, 2024

Trials of being an educator/student in Aruakgre


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RESUBELPARA, June 16: A recent visit to the village of Aruakgre in the district of North Garo Hills (NGH) has been an eye-opener to the trials and tribulations faced by educators and students, and it also explains why results in the Garo Hills region are so abysmal.
The small hamlet of Aruakgre is about 5 km away from NH-51 near Gokol, though reaching there earlier would have been an arduous task of huge proportions. The recent completion of a PMGSY road has eased the situation to some extent, and what would have taken ages to traverse can now be done within 10-15 minutes. It falls under the C&RD Block of Bajengdoba.
A complaint made by a teacher from the Aruakgre RMSA HS School, which is expected to be completed in another month, was the reason for the visit. Upon visiting the school, where there is no network connection, laborers were found working to ensure the completion of the building. They promised to finish the school in another 20-30 days.
“That will be a relief to us as we are really struggling with space, sharing two classrooms with the local SSA UP School nearby. The project was started in 2018 and is yet to be completed. This has resulted in our inability to increase enrollment in our school,” informed Sengcilda Sangma, the RMSA school principal.  Following the visit to the upcoming building, the entourage moved to the present location where classes were being held by the RMSA school teachers and students. What came next was a shocker.
The RMSA School has been using a classroom of the SSA UP School, where the enrollment is 35 for Class IX. The school has six teachers educating children in both Class IX and X. Sengcilda informed that a small community hall was being used to teach students of Class X (15 students).
The small school compound currently houses three schools: a government LP School, an SSA school, and the students from the RMSA School. While the LP section has over 60 students, the SSA school has an enrollment of over 80 students. It’s actually a crazy number for the space that is available. Moreover, the UP section has broken doors, missing windows, and a roof that leaks during the monsoon.
Upon inspection, the classroom being used by Class IX will not be more than 130-140 sq ft, where these 35 children jostle for space with a teacher and their desk also added to the mix.
“There is not enough space for them to sit on the benches, let alone take notes. How we are managing is beyond understanding. That is why the delay in the completion of our school is such a setback for us as educators and students,” added the principal.
The plight of students can be understood from the fact that classes cannot be taken during the rains, and with the large number of students cramped into the small space, even sunny days leave all of them exhausted from the heat.
The condition of the Class X students is even direr. Their room is only about 100 sq ft. Forget about leg space; there is not even enough room to move when classes are in session.
Despite the situation they face, the school still has had people passing SSLC, unlike many schools from the district that had 0% passing, despite being provided with better facilities.


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