“There is not even a single teacher in 20 model schools across the state and the headmasters are in a fix over dealing with the absence of teachers at a time when schools are about to be opened. Admissions for classes 1 to 5 have been completed and even EMIS number have been issued for students without teachers,” headmaster of a government higher secondary school told DT Next.
The concept of model schools was introduced in 2018 to provide state-of-art facilities on a par with the private schools. The concept was the brainchild of School Education Commissioner K Nandakumar when he was the Collector of Ramanathapuram district as more than 70 students from such schools joined MBBS in a year. After it became a hit, the government in 2018 announced that the scheme will commence with 32 model schools. In December 2019, a GO was passed in which 88 schools were announced .
However, in this pandemic situation, the State could not appoint teachers for the newly added primary classes in 2020 and the situation continued in 2021 too. When the announcement for reopening classes 1-8 from November 1 was made, model schools were left in a state of uncertainty.
Meanwhile, a few schools managed to handle the vacancies by diverting additional teachers from standards 6-8. “We have roped in teachers from middle sections to handle primary classes. This had to be done as admissions have been completed,” said a headmaster (in-charge) of a model school in Chennai.