In a shocking finding, Paocham Government High School, Ukhrul district building was found on the verge of collapse even as it is facing acute shortage of teachers.
Of the four building blocks, three blocks with 12 classrooms were in bad shape and no longer fit for accommodating students as the walls had cracked and the floors were beyond repair.
Absence of a headmaster and lack of teaching staff further added to the woes of the students who were pursuing their studies in unsafe buildings thereby making them face twin problems for no fault of theirs.
This is in stark contrast to ensuring a peaceful learning environment and providing quality education to the young ones in their formative stage.
In the current academic session, around 107 students are enrolled in the school.
Improvement in building infrastructure and ensuring adequate teaching staff will improve student ratio and equally enable many poor families who could ill afford to send their wards to expensive private schools to enrol their wards in the government schools and make education accessible for them too.
These shortages of teaching staff had deprived students their right to learn and gain foundation knowledge and would have a dent on their future.
High school is a stage where every subject holds importance in the life of the young minds. Non-availability of any teaching staff therefore would mean they (students) have missed out what they should have been introduced.
Speaking exclusively to the Imphal Free Press on Wednesday, Khansing Pheirei, SMDC convener, Paocham High School lamented that the condition of the school building is so bad that if any natural calamities hit the area it would collapse in no time as the building blocks had developed crack and broken walls. "With buildings on the verge of collapse, students and teachers would be the poor victims to face the wrath," he noted.
The school has been deprived of a headmaster for the last 20 years.
According to Pheirei, of the 15 teaching and non-teaching staff, only seven teachers, including headmaster in-charge were looking after the affairs of the school.
The school also had "no teacher for English, Science and Hindi subjects" for primary, upper primary and secondary level.
Understanding the seriousness of the prevailing situation, he appealed to the state government to look into the situation on priority basis and repair the school and provide adequate teachers for the greater good of the student community.
Established in 1956, the school is set up at the centre of Phungcham, Paorei and Varangarai village. It is also the school for the said three villages.
Currently, 50-bedded girls hostel building construction is underway.
It may be mentioned that several government schools in Ukhrul, Kamjong and other districts of the state were reeling under acute teaching staff shortages. Only time will tell how serious the government is in the education sector.