A government-run school in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, forces girl students to double up as cleaning staff, and sweep the school premises before classes begins, say students and teachers at the school.
The government senior secondary school in Bharatpur’s Jeevad, about 35 km from the district headquarters, does not have any cleaning staff for the last four years so the school authorities make girl students to sweep the floor and do other odd jobs to make up for the lack of staff, some of them say.
There are 162 students in the school, including 91 girls.
Suman Kumari, a Class 10 student, says girls have to sweep the classrooms before classes commence.
“We clean the classrooms as we cannot sit in dirty rooms,” she says.
“There is no one else to do the job.”
School principal Ram Babu Pathak says he has sanction to hire people for ₹ 500 every month under the Rajasthan Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan but unable to find a cleaning staff as the honorarium is “too paltry”.
The school also faces a shortage of teachers and clerks, he says.
There no teachers for Sanskrit and English, says Man Singh Dhakad, who teaches Mathematics and takes English and Sanskrit classes.
District education officer for secondary education (II) Virendra Singh Yadav says the department has been facing shortage of cleaning staff.
“We will, however, inspect the school and ask the principal to employ casual employee to sweep the school premises,” he says.
“We will request the directorate of secondary education in Bikaner and in Jaipur to fill the vacant posts of teachers in the school.”
There 232 secondary and senior secondary schools in the Bharatpur’s Weir block where 132 post of cleaning staff are lying vacant for a long time, Yadav says.
Under the Rajasthan Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan scheme ₹ 500 is provided every month for each school to hire a sc leaning staff for 10 months.