COIMBATORE: As many as 16 Adi Dravidar Welfare Schools in Coimbatore district are operating with only one teacher each as secondary grade teacher posts, though sanctioned, have not been filled for three years.
The condition of four such schools in Valparai is worse than that of other single-teacher schools. They have to be closed if the headmasters of these elementary schools go to Valparai town for official works or SSA training.
A headmaster from one such school in Valparai said that they could not take leave even when they were not feeling well and would go to a hospital in Valparai town after regular class hours. Sources said most of the headmasters of these schools were not young and often fell sick. Finding people to replace them was difficult for officials, who tell teachers from nearby middle schools over the phone to take care of the students till the headmasters return from leave.
The deputed teachers are hesitant to go to these single-teacher schools as most of them are located in remote places; their routine work would be affected. Besides, it is difficult to teach all the students from class 1 to 5 at the same time, said another headmaster from one such school.
This situation has prevailed for three to four years as no recruitments were made to replace retired teachers.
Secondary grade teachers can be recruited on orders from the Directorate of Adi Dravidar Welfare but this was stopped a few years ago as the student strength in these schools was often fluctuating.
Also, the Directorate cannot pass orders in this connection now as the Madras High Court, on September 8, stayed the recruitment of secondary grade teachers as certain teachers had opposed the weightage method. Once the issue is settled, the secondary-grade teachers would be recruited in the schools.
The Adi Dravidar Welfare Board tried to recruit teachers as 14-17 secondary grade teachers are needed to run these schools efficiently in the district.
However, when the vacant posts are made available through the counselling process, most teachers do not opt for the remote and hilly places where these schools are located, the Board officials said.
The teachers should consider their jobs as a service as doctors do and should come forward to serve in rural areas, said an official.
As private nursery and primary schools have been opened in nearby towns, many parents send their children to these schools by mini buses, rather than to government schools, sources said.
The Adi Dravidar schools are not the only ones which are facing these problems. Some other government schools in the district are also lacking teachers, the officials said.