Soaring admissions, insufficient classrooms: Bittersweet predicament for these TN govt schools
Three govt schools in Tiruchy district have had phenomenal admissions this year. However, none of them have more than 12 classrooms. They are worried given the SOP allowing only 20 students per class
TIRUCHY: With not more than 10 days left for reopening of schools for classes 1 to 8, schools that have drawn more admissions this year are worried about accommodation of students, given the SOP allowing only 20 students per class.
For instance, three government schools in the district have had phenomenal admissions this year. As of Thursday, Beemanagar Corporation Middle School had a strength of 1337, Edamalaipatti Pudur Panchayat Union Elementary School, 809, and Piratiyur Panchayat Union Middle School, 860. However, none of them have more than 12 classrooms. The request for expansion of buildings was loud.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Aasha Devi, HM of the Piratiyur school, said, "If we were to hold classes with only 20 students, we can only accommodate 240 students. With students coming in batches, it would take minimum four days to finish teaching a day's plan."
Assistant HM of the school Ramesh Kumar said, "Students are very eager to come for the classes. If we were to let them come just once every three or four days, it would be unfair. With only seven teachers, we cannot focus on online classes simultaneously."
H Pushpalatha, a teacher from the E Pudur school, said, "We coordinate 23 online classes through WhatsApp groups. However, we only have 10 physical classes. Many shifted from CBSE and ICSE schools. Wards hailing from well-off families are also admitted. So, it is clear that the shift is not for financial reasons. They would continue even when all schools reopen. Hence, we require more classes."
Beema Nagar school HM Raja Rajeshwari said, "Two years ago we only had 490 students. Then we had six classrooms. Following requests, the Corporation helped add four more. With a strength of 1337 students, classrooms would not be sufficient. Even if we overcome the pandemic in the near future, 10 classrooms is not a big number."
Teachers and parents of the school had approached the district administration, ministers and parliamentarians seeking land, belonging to the Corporation, for construction of more classrooms and buildings near the employment office. The Piratiyur school was hoping to secure some land near the Regional Transport Office, which is close to the school.
When representatives of the schools had approached Collector S Sivarasu on various occasions, he had promised to conduct an inspection and look into the issue. Similar responses came from parliamentarians and ministers Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi and KN Nehru (both elected from Tiruchy district constituencies).
The teachers said they were hopeful of school expansion in the near future. Asked if they had stopped admitting more students, representatives of the schools said they could not do that as many parents came with recommendations from higher officials and other big names in the government.