For nine years now, it is making do with one full-time teacher, who is also the institution's headmistress
The history of Fisheries School established exclusively for children of fishermen at Vasavanipalem in Lawson’s Bay Colony on the Beach Road, pales into insignificance owing to negligence resulting in lack of teachers.
The school was launched during the British rule in 1945.
It has the unique distinction of being run by the Fisheries Department.
Tucked a few yards away from the Beach Road, the school has a good ambience with cool sea breeze, a few trees, a compound wall, and a small playground. It has power supply too. The school has a good building, thanks to the MP Local Area Development funds of T. Subbarami Reddy. The GVMC opened it in the year 2003. Another building, with additional classrooms, is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs.11 lakh under the Rajiv Vidya Mission, after pulling down the 70-year-old shed.
But all this has not been able to address the basic issue of lack of teachers. Not for one or two years, for nine years now the school is making do with one full-time teacher, who is also the headmistress.
Services of education volunteers are provided as and when the government issues orders for their appointment a few months after the academic year begins and dispenses with their services in March.
This leaves the headmistress with the task of doing the administrative work, managing other tasks such as mid-day meal, and also nurture the children in their initial stages of education. This is admittedly a difficult task. The end result is, some children are even incapable of writing the Telugu alphabet in spite of being in Class IV!
Nine years ago, one of the two teachers retired. Since then, the school is being run by full-time teacher, says headmistress K.V. Satyavani.
At the ratio of one teacher for every 30 students, the school should have four more teachers. During the last two years, the student strength dropped from 250 to 165 with some of them joining nearby schools, including private ones.
Ms. Satyavani says she is taking the help of some educated youth in consultation with the village elders to run the show.
When contacted, Fisheries Joint Director Koteswara Rao said the department had requested the GVMC and the Education Department to take over the school and appoint teachers.
Presently, the department is paying salaries to the headmistress and an attendant. When the strength was 200 sometime back, six education volunteers were given. But now, even the strength is coming down, he has admitted.