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7 days ago

Shortage of teachers: Admin worker takes classes in Gazipur primary school

An admin staff conducting a class
An admin staff conducting a class Photo : bdnews24.com

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A primary school in Gazipur Sadar Upazila has been accused of assigning its administrative staff to take classes due to the shortage of teachers.

As such, parents are transferring their children to different schools out of disappointment over the incident.

According to the parents of children attending Angutiachala Government Primary School in Gazipur's Bhawal Mirzapur Union Parishad, the admin workers have been taking classes due to a lack of teachers, according to a bdnews24.com report.

On Sunday morning, Md Shumon Hossain, a member of the school's administration, was seen teaching the students of the second grade.

When asked why he was taking the class, he said that, "The school has two shifts. For each shift, there are three classes. Two of the four teachers, including the principal, are away on training."

According to Shumon, Principal Masud Mia has been taking part in a leadership training programme in Gazipur's Chapulia area since Jun 13. He is expected to return on July 14.

Assistant teacher Nigar Sultana has also been sent for a 10-month long (BTPT) training programme at a primary teacher training institute in Gazipur since July 1.

"It is not possible for two teachers to take three classes simultaneously. This is why I'm taking the classes for the students of the second grade," said Shumon.

Meanwhile, parents have complained of a lack of teachers at the school throughout the year. As such, the principal and the assistant teachers instructed Shumon, who is an admin worker, to take the class.

Habiba Akhter, an assistant teacher working at the school said: "There are five positions in total for teachers, including the role of a principal in the school. However, at present, the school is run by four teachers, including the principal."

Under these circumstances, assistant teachers Habiba Akhter and Farida Yasmin are taking six classes in two shifts.

"Since three classes are held simultaneously during one shift, sometimes, we have to take half-time classes for children in kindergarten so we can properly attend the other two classes."

Since it is not possible for two teachers to take three classes simultaneously, sometimes, Shumon steps in to conduct the classes, said Habiba.

Mazharul Haque, president of the school's Parents Teachers Association (PTA), told bdnews24.com: "How can two teachers go for training amid a shortage of teachers at the school? How did the education office allow them to be trained at such a time? The classes are not held regularly throughout the year either."

Mazharul said many parents are enrolling their children in other schools after learning of the situation.

"As far as I know, several students, including Sumaiya and Ishrat from 2nd grade, Faria from 4th grade, and others, have left the school. Currently, there are 100 students enrolled in the school," he added.

Complaining about the school's current situation, Sharifa Begum, a parent said, "The classes are not being held regularly at this school. They are not taking full-time classes, especially for the younger classes. They don't even have tiffin facilities here. The school doesn't even host annual sports competitions for the children. We want a solution to these problems."

Similar complaints were heard from other parents including Kulsum Begum and Nazma Begum.

Masud Mia, the principal of the school, said, "There is a shortage of teachers in the school. However, this crisis will be resolved if teachers are recruited. The Upazila’s primary education office has been notified about the lack of teachers in the school."

"In case of a delay in the appointment of teachers, the Upazila education officer has said that teachers will be provided through deputation. However, I have not permitted the administrative staff to take classes. If they say I gave my permission, that is a complete lie," he added.

Upazila Education Officer (Acting) Dilara Rahman said: "The vacancies will be filled once the viva for the recruitment of teachers is complete."

When asked about the administration taking classes in the school, Dilara said: "The administrative staff may be taking the classes due to the shortage of teachers."

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