Staff Reporter

Teachers of three girls’ schools refuse to swap premises with boys’ school as it lacks toilet facilities

HYDERABAD: The post-summer exercise of ‘academic clubbing’ whereby government schools running in the same premises were merged, has proved to be a thorn in the flesh for three high schools in Sultan Bazaar. Far from rationalising the amenities as proclaimed by the district administration, the exercise has, in fact, ended up as a scramble for space.

Government Girls High Schools of Sultan Bazaar (T/M), Kacheguda (E/M) and Goshamahal (E/M and U/M) had been running for 20 years on the same premises at Koti before the district authorities began the rationalising experiment in concurrence with the SUCCESS scheme. The shift timings followed earlier to avoid space crunch were done away with and a general shift was imposed as part of the exercise. As a result, over 600 students of 22 sections and corresponding staff members were forced to make do with 14 rooms, not to speak of lab, library and waiting rooms proposed as part of the scheme. Of these, the structure housing the Goshamahal school is in an extremely dilapidated condition, with all its walls conducting electricity when it rains.

Classes in the open

“We are forced to conduct a few classes in open, exposing children to the vagaries of nature. It being winter, children are susceptible to cold and fever,” says a teacher under the condition of anonymity.

According to sources, Collector Naveen Mittal has asked all the three schools in June to swap premises with the Government Boys’ High School across the road. Faced with opposition from teachers who pointed that the building lacked proper toilets, the Collector reportedly promised to have the same built within 15 days. However, he failed to do the needful and the school continued on the same premises.

There was another order in August asking GGHS, Kacheguda, to issue Transfer Certificates to the existing students and shift to the Government Primary School at Saraladevi Huts near Champapet. However, following protests by teachers’ organisations and NGOs against the mergers, none of the teachers obeyed the orders.

“The primary school at Champapet was running in five shed-like structures. There were no facilities for staff and students. We could not have moved there armed with mere promises,” fumes the teacher. “Our refusal to swap places with the Boys’ School was taken as our consent to put up with the lack of accommodation in the present building. We cannot even revert to the old shifts as there have been strict orders from the higher-ups to continue in the general shift,” another teacher complains.