Gujarat village boycotts school enrollment drive

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Banaskantha (Guj), Jun 15: Protesting against the lack of primary teachers, more than 250 students aged between six and 14 years of Bhodaliya village in Bhabar taluka of the district boycotted the Gujarat government held 'Shala Praveshotsav' (school enrollment drive) here today.

"What is the use of much hyped school enrollment drive when one teacher is looking after students from Class One to Class Five since an year," Bhodaliya village headman Balaram Thakore said. Incidentally, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had participated in the state wide Shala Praveshotsav recently.

"There are just three teachers including a headmaster to teach over 250 students who comeg from far away places. Many of them come from 2 km away from their fields where they have built temporary houses," Thakore said. Thakore claimed that district authorities did not consider their demands despite several requests.

"Since eight months we have been making both written and verbal requests to the district education officer to fill up the post of teachers, but to no avail. There are eight classes which need eight teachers, besides a headmaster, but the school has only three teachers including the headmaster," Thakore said. Parents of the children also defended the boycott of the school enrollment drive.

"My son Hardik who is in the second standard this year was taught at home. Otherwise the class is full of kids with just one teacher to keep a watch," Aravind Purohit, a parent of two kids, said. The 'Praveshotsav' initiative was first introduced by former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi 12 years ago and it is celebrated every year across the state to increase school enrollment in government-run primary schools.

PTI

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