Goa has the second highest literacy rate in the country after Kerala but despite that, the education institutions run under the government aid lacks the necessary facilities and infrastructure. Most of the primary and secondary schools run by the government do not have the basic facilities such as proper classrooms and teaching staff. Primary education is the foundation of child development and having only five headmasters to take care of 890 primary schools is the matter of real concern. According to the sources, Goa has not created posts of headmaster or head teacher in government primary schools over the years as a policy decision.
Based on the information available from the reliable sources, out of the 890 government primary schools, only five schools in Goa has a headmaster appointed at the institution on the full-time basis. The above figures are based on the data provided by the Directorate of Education (DOE) Panaji. The sources have also revealed that, In addition to these five posts, only three other headmasters’ posts are waiting to be filled in primary schools, leaving the large majority of the primary schools without a regular head.
The student strength in the government primary school shows a steep decline due to nonavailability of head teachers in the school, while the schools that have the good student strength are blessed with at least a head teacher. “The student strength of the government primary schools in Goa has been on a decline. Only where the student strength is good enough, the senior most teacher of the school is appointed as the head teacher,” director of education G P Bhat said. These teachers are paid only Rs 200 over and above their regular salaries to discharge the duties of a head teacher.
Education officials inform that the state has not created posts of headmaster or head teacher in government primary schools over the years as a policy decision. “We have to look after administrative work too like responding to official correspondence in addition to our teaching work,” teacher from a rural single-teacher school said. There are 347 single teacher schools in Goa.
According to the sources, not alone the condition of the government primary school is bad but many of the government-aided schools in the state also do not have full-time headmaster and the burden of the extra work has been put on the shoulders of the school teachers. In the case of primary school is attached to a high school, the high school headmaster or headmistress shuffles between both sections.
According to the data of the Union, human resource ministry’s wing DISE for the year 2014-15, of all the primary schools in Goa with an enrollment of 150 students and above, as many as 62.50% are without a headmaster. This is much worse than the national average where 45% of all primary schools are without a head. At the high school level, where the state rules make it mandatory to have a head, the condition is much better with only around 25% being without a head teacher.
This story is not new and been going on for years. the government has come to power and gone in the state but the quality of education system in the government schools remained the same throughout the years. Many private schools are mushrooming in the state and parents also prefer to send their children to private schools due to better facilities and quality education system. This way the decline in students at Government primary schools is inevitable. If you take a look at the amount of money government spends on the schemes like cyber age, even the fraction of that had been put into straightening of the government primary schools, the scenario would have been different today. please do leave your comments on this issue.