Vijayawada: The Velagapudi Lakshman Datt Municipal Corporation School, located at Kedaraswarapet in Vijayawada, is unique in every sense.
Perhaps no other school in the state has a 152:1 student-teacher ratio this academic year.
The number of students in the school was only 88 in academic year 2018-19, but saw huge jump with the introduction of the Amma Vodi scheme by the state government.
Soon after the government announced the scheme, parents from the surrounding lined up to admit their kids in this school and its strength early doubled. However, no teacher joined the school.
While five teachers taught boys and girls from Class I to Class V in the previous year, the situation is not the same this year.
Last year, there were two permanent teachers, one teacher on deputation from a nearby school, one Vidya Volunteer and also a teacher from the NGO Care and Share. The NGO had adopted the school in the previous year.
This academic year, considering the fact that there were five teachers, the parents had no hesitation in getting their wards admitted to the school.
Soon after completion of the admission process, things changed.
The two government teachers who worked earlier were transferred. The teacher on deputation was shifted to another school. The Vidya Volunteer’s contract expired and was not extended.
The NGO stopped sending its volunteer to teach in the school at its funds dried up.
Now, Mr J. Krishna, the only teacher left in the school, has to teach 152 students in five classes, without leisure or leave.
The students also appealed to district collector about their affairs of the school during the Spandana programme. However, their appeal was rejected by officials as the appellants lacked Aadhaar identity.
The kids rushed to the school for help. The school watchman Dodda Gudaiah offered his Aadhaar ID, and the officials received the application. There has been no response since.
The management committee of the school too is worried about the future of the students and has attempted to convince the parents to shift their kids to a private school. The parents have been told that Amma Vodi is applicable to private schools also.
Meanwhile, Mr Krishna said that with the efforts of the school staff and the government’s scheme Amma Vodi, the student strength has increased but it has become an everyday struggle for him to teach all the 152 students of five classes.
“Another of my problem is the midday meal scheme. As of now, I am somehow coping with the help of the watchman and his wife. I dread the day that I am unable to come to school,” he said.
Mr Krishna said that from June 12 till present, he had had no break, even when he fell ill....