Published: 21st September 2018
A government primary school in Karnataka has just one student and one teacher
The government has provided all the facilities like a teacher, a cook to prepare mid-day meal for this single student
It is not a luxury provided by the state department of public instructions, but this student of Class V at a state government primary school in Kolar district got the 'luxury' of having a dedicated teacher to herself and the entire school at her disposal!
This state government primary school at Obenahalli in Srinivasapura taluk of Kolar district has a single student enrolled in Class V and the government has provided all the facilities like a teacher, a cook to prepare mid-day meal for this single student. Due to lack of enrollment and fewer students, the government had ordered for the closure of this school and the school was closed for the academic year 2016-17. Komala GK teacher of this school said, "As there was no admissions government ordered for closure of the school during the 2016-17 academic year and I even took a deputation to some other school and the school was closed for one year."
As explained by the teacher, the villagers particularly the parents of student Nanditha have approached her and literally fought with her for leaving the school. "I was surprised when her parents came searching me all the way to the school where I was on deputation. I could recognise anger, fear and sadness at a time. They asked me, what should their daughter do if I leave and school got closed," remembers Komala.
As the parents of Nanditha are daily wage employees it was difficult for them to send her to private schools. They were even worried about her safety and security to send her to schools which are a few km away as she is a small girl. "Later several villagers joined Nanditha's parents and approached the Zilla Panchayath and other officials at the education department. Finally, the school re-opened for the academic year 2017-18 and I have been posted back,-" mentions Komala.
Interestingly, there were four students during the 2017-18 academic year in the school and this year only one retained as other finished class 5th and moved to higher classes. As this is Lower primary school, it provides education only up to Class V. However, the department has not ignored this girl though she is a single student. It has provided the cook to prepare mid-day meal for this student. Even if the teacher wants to take leave, the department makes alternate arrangement and deputes another teacher and ensures the child received justice.
Another interesting part is, here this student and teacher are like friends. Nanditha said, "I don't have any friends in school. The teacher is my best friend."
However, the department officials in the district blame the mushrooming of private schools in the district which decreased the enrollment at government schools. According to officials, this is just an example and there are some more schools in the district which have single-digit admissions! Officials say that the number of private schools in the district has been increased and convincing parents to admit their wards at private schools by giving several offers.-"There are schools which have less than 10 students,-" says an official from Deputy Director for Public Instructions Office in Kolar district.
As per the data, there are over 303 government schools in the district with 29,000 children below the age group of 16 years.BOXHistoryThis school was established in the year 1978 and there was a good strength even till 2010. After that, the number of enrollment in the school came down due to the increase in the number of private schools. Meanwhile, the teachers working with the schools in district blames the introduction of RTE act under which many students joined private schools. And this school located in the constituency of speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.