Skip to main content

Comment: Can we export some teachers to the Little Rann of Kutch, Mr Chief Minister?

A tent school in the Little Rann
By Pankti Jog* 
When Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was addressing students in Delhi, and he talked about exporting teachers to the world, he should have known that the so-called "Tambu shala" or "Rann shala" of Santalpur area in the Rann of Kutch of the state do not have teachers.
There are about 900 agariya (salt pan worker) families in Santalpur Rann area of Patan district. Children from these families are a daily witness to empty tent shades, which were supposed to be their school.
“These year teachers were not appointed for Rann Shala. So we have to look for ‘baldost’ ”, is the general view among Block Resource Centre (BRC) and Cluster Resource Centre (CRC) office bearers of the area, who look into contentious issues related with education and coordinate for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme of the Government of India for universalizing primary education.
Currently, these schools are being run by bal-dosts, who supposed to be facilitators for dropped-out children to run two hours “alternative learning centre (ALC)”, a programme conducted under an SSA scheme. Rann shalas should be owned by the education department and not SSA. The district administration does not have the budget for trained teachers, for safe infrastructure, or for mid-day meal under ALS scheme.
Agariya children are school-going children, and should get trained teachers. Mid-day meal should be served in the Rann shalas. These shalas should be an extension centre of village schools. If the education department owns these schools, plans them in advance, it is possible to decide on locations and erect schools made of local material, which can save children from heat during summer and cold wind during winter.
The education department and the SSA programme office bearers are well aware of the problem. But they  are helpless, as they are not equipped with necessary support. The Gujarat government makes huge propaganda of “symbolic” work done under various programmes like school enrollment drive, school health check-up programme, SSA, Gunotsav etc. Yet, the irony is, these programmes and systems are used (rather misused) for ‘image building’ by the chief minister of the state. 
Agariya children
The implementing machinery, at taluka or district levels, is almost helpless without budget and human resource support – both controlled from state level. If social workers associated with Agariya Hit Rakshak Manch (AHRM) complain, the officials at block level are punished for no reason. 
We need trained teacher for our children. The general view among agariyas is, if agariya they appointed as baldost, when we will the make salt?. "We agariyas always cooperate and support government in every possible way. But can't government give quality education to our children?" asks Narubhai , an active agariya leader from Santalpur Rann.
In fact, the issue is not confined to the Little Rann of Kutch. Lakhs of children from fishing communities, who resides on Bara along Saurastra coast; or notified and de-notified tribes who resides in settlements quite far from the revenue village; or agariyas in the Rann of Kutch spread next to several districts do not get regular school with trained teachers and mid-day meal. Why does the education department want to throw these children on the mercy of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan programme? Why can’t so called ‘Big Gujarat’ give “books” in these little hands? Why?

*Pankti Jog is associated with Agariya Hit Rakshak Manch

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”