They have computers but no teachers. They get free bus passes but they are barely any buses. They go to a school that does not have a single toilet. This is plight of children in various government schools across Tamil Nadu, said Bharathi Krishnakumar, a documentary film maker. After an epic journey across 1000 schools in 23 districts across the State, Mr. Bharathi filmed ‘Enakillya Kalvi', a documentary showcasing the difficulties of children in government schools. The documentary also won the P. Ramachandran Memorial Award for the Best Documentary in the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association awards at a function on Sunday.
It was the debate sparked off by the introduction of Samacheer Kalvi syllabus in the State that inspired him to make ‘Enakillya Kalvi' to gauge its impact in the State, he said.
“In the course of filming, I found that education is a far-fetched dream for many. Uniform education can't be achieved just by instituting the same syllabus. There should be equality in quality of teachers, teaching methodology and infrastructure in every school”, he said.
The government has not appointed adequate number of teachers in several schools. A case in point is a school in Kunjapanai in Nilgiri district where the class X students do not have an English teacher, he said.
Most of the girls resort to open defecation in schools as there is no toilet built for them. As a 15-year-old girl exclaimed during the course of the filming, “Who wants computers when we don't have a toilet?”
Similarly, in Mudiyakulathur village in Ramnad district, the government has issued about 3000 bus passes to school children but there are only six buses.
“The teachers in government schools are cowards. They have the audacity to walk out when their demands have to be met. But they adopt a lackadaisical attitude when the children are deprived of the basic amenities”, he added.