In a bizarre situation in Majri village, Haryana just an hour away from Ambala, there’s a government school that’s facing an acute teacher shortage. A situation where only 19 teachers have to cover up for 400 students, and there’s only one PGT ((Post Graduate Teacher) qualified maths teacher.
As reported by Hindustan Times, to address the situation the school administration decided to deploy, Kamal Singh, a peon at the school who incidentally also holds an MSc in physics doubles as the mathematics teacher for students of Class 9 students.
The school was facing a major shortage of maths teachers. As the lone existing one takes 54 classes a week in addition to other administrative duties like the election. There was an immediate need for help. Sudhir Kalra, deputy district education officer, explained.
The request came from Kamal the peon himself
Kamal who holds an MSc in Physics, after becoming aware that the existing maths teacher was overburdened with work, went up to the principal’s office and offered to take some classes.
“I’ve heard that he taught effectively and the students too enjoyed his class. So when the Maths teacher came back, Kamal offered to take 17-18 classes a week to ease the workload.” The deputy DEO said.
While this definitely relieves some pressure from the school, Kamal is technically not supposed to be teaching, as apart from not being employed as a peon, he has to have a postgraduate degree in the subject concerned, which is in mathematics.
However, the DOE argued that the adopted solution is better than leaving the children with no maths teacher whatsoever.
We should look at the positive side. He is going beyond his call of duty. He rings the bell, offers water to the staff and then teaches students. He has the qualities of a responsible teacher.
The incident poses two very important questions. First, why is there a shortfall of teachers in the school and what is the government doing about it? Second, if a peon is teaching so well, why did the system not provide him opportunities to be a teacher in the first place? The answers should come from the government and relevant authorities with a resolution that works well for all.