EVEN AS the government of Gujarat is planning to restart classes for students in grade 11, the state education department is seeing a huge shortage of classrooms to accommodate nearly 80,000 students.
The shortage came as a result of the massive promotion of grade 10 students by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Education Council (GSHSEB) this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to data viewed by The Indian Express, there is a shortage of over 3,000 classrooms as calculated and submitted to the education department by each district.
In addition, the data revealed that 20 districts suffer from a total shortage of infrastructure as well as faculty for nearly 78,000 students. Against a total student capacity of 364,848 for class 11 in 20 districts, up to 4,41924 students in class 10 were promoted en masse. Therefore, there is a shortage of classrooms to accommodate these additional students.
Among the 20 districts are Dahod, Banaskantha, Panchmahals, Mehsana and Kheda, with the greatest shortage reported in the entire state. In addition, most of these districts are the ones that reported the lowest pass percentage in the March 2020 Class 10 State Council exams.
While Dahod recorded the lowest overall winning percentage of 47.47 and recorded the lowest results in the past three years, Panchmahal recorded 51% and Kheda 56%.
“If grades 9-12 are reopened, principals have to make their own arrangements, including managing schools in teams and implementing an odd-even formula for students. The education department has made it possible for schools to opt for these solutions to address the lack of classrooms, ”said District Education Officer (DEO) Dahod Kajal Dave of the arrangements being made to fill the gap. empty.
Dahod has the greatest infrastructure shortage for more than 8,600 students.
Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told The Indian Express, “After class 12, the assessment of the situation, class 9-11 will also be reopened soon. “
“Keeping in mind this shortage of classrooms due to mass promotion, we were allowed to admit up to 75 students into a classroom. This is an increase from the current class size of the highest upper limit of a class of 66 (60 with 6 additional students authorized by the district education officer) ” , said Panchmahal DEO BS Panchal.
Although schools have been allowed to accommodate 75 students in a classroom, looking at the existing infrastructure with schools, this does not seem feasible on the ground. For example, a classroom that is already stretched to its limit, there is no possibility of accommodating more students.
Further, Panchal said: “If a problem arises, we can organize classes 11 and 12 in schools where there was no such provision before and the school was only up to class 10. In addition, schools are allowed to request the addition of classrooms for one year only. “