Published: 23rd April 2019
This teacher travels 10 kms to Baratam on his two wheeler to teach one student
Last year, there were only three students in the school and six the year before
Imagine a school with one student and one teacher! If you think the girl, a student of class Vth, is happy getting all the attention of the teacher and mid-day meal every day, you are mistaken. Both the teacher and his student at the government primary school at Baratam village of LN Peta mandal feel thoroughly bored.
To keep the school afloat, education officials are obliged to allow the teacher, S Raja Rao, to work in the village. Raja Rao, who lives in LN Peta, rides about 10 km every day on his two-wheeler to reach Baratam to teach his lone student. The pupil, Reddi Swathi, will leave the primary school in the coming academic year for further studies. Swathi’s parents, hailing from Parlakhemundi in Odisha, have settled down in Baratam.“I feel bored to teach the lone girl and she, too, faces the same problem. As the nearby school is situated two km away from the village, we can’t shift the girl,” said Raja Rao, who has been working at the school for the last two years. The mid-day meal worker prepares meals at her house and serves it to the girl at the school.
The primary school has seen a progressive decrease in the number of students over the past three years. Last year, there were only three students in the school and six the year before. There is no Anganwadi centre in the village either. Of the three students who studied in the school last year, one dropped out while another was promoted to class VIth. According to Raja Rao, Baratam has only 20 households. As the girl will leave the school next year, there would be no student left for the next academic year.
“Keeping this grim situation in view, we have decided to motivate the residents of Baratam and their relatives from other villages to admit their children in the school,” said Raja Rao. There seems to be some ray of hope as the school has received one application for admission from a student.
Mandal Education Officer M Sreenivasa Rao said they would conduct a campaign as part of Badi Bata programme in the village and motivate people to admit their children in the school.He is confident of convincing locals to send their children to the school as another one is two km away from Baratam and mandal headquarters is 10 km away.