TEZPUR, July 1 - More than 112 Boro medium schools in Sonitpur district are in almost a defunct condition due to the massive shortage of infrastructure as well as teachers due to the apathetic attitude of the Assam Government�s concerned department. Not only is there a severe shortage of teachers, but the schools also lack much-needed facilities like desks and benches, buildings etc. An unhygienic atmosphere prevails within most of these schools. It is tragic that even in this age, safe drinking water, toilet facility, well-equipped classrooms, teaching-learning materials (TLM), playing aids, library, kitchen room for the mid-day meal etc., are still a far cry in Boro medium schools, particularly at the elementary level and in some venture schools of ME & High sections.
The latest development is that many schools now don�t have a single teacher as after the retirement of many teachers, new teachers have not been recruited. It may be mentioned here that many Boro-medium schools were single-teacher schools and the non-recruitment of new teachers have left the students high and dry.
Highlighting the latest development in this regard, social worker and an office bearer of Misamari Anchalik Boro Sahitya Sabha, Hitesh Narzary said that many of the Boro medium schools in the district have been closed down already due to the non-appointment of sufficient teachers. �The Boro medium section in Misamari ME School (provincialised) was introduced in the year 1984 under the BEEO, Dhekiajuli/ DEEO, Sonitpur had two teachers against the posts of the subjects Hindi and Assamese , who were posted to other schools recently on promotion. These posts are yet to be filled up. For this reason, the school is facing a tough situation in giving education to the children.� Expressing grave concern over the matter, Narzary also said that it is matter of regret that the 32-year-old Boro Medium Section of the school is severely deprived of teachers as per the Pupil Teacher Ration (PTR) norms, under the Right to Education (RTE-2005) Act, thereby hurting the students studying in Boro medium schools which is nothing but a violation of human rights. �In the greater interest of the survival of the Boro medium section in this school, besides the survival of the Boro language, we have appointed a few Boro medium teachers on a minimum honorarium voluntarily donated by a section of socially dedicated people of the area.�
The office bearers of the Bahbari Anchalik Boro Sahitya Sabha said that the parents of the students of greater area have been in an awkward situation over the last many years as in the area many schools including Purani Ghatwa LP School, Swahid Ratan Kochari LP School and Garakhia Pukhuri LP School have been running with single teachers. �Though we have repeatedly urged the authority concerned through a number of representations to provide more teachers to these schools, our demands are yet to attract their attention,� they alleged. Describing how the concerned department is apathetic towards the Boro-medium schools, people of the Batachipur area under Dhekiajuli LAC said that children of the area have been deprived of getting education as most of the schools in the are area closed as they have been requisitioned by the security forces in the name of ensuring security in the area. �We appeal to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and the Education Department of the State Government to look into the matter. �During 2011, the State Education Department provided a sizeable amount of funds for the infrastructure development of more than 50 LP schools under Chaidwar Education Block in Sonitpur district. But these schools had to face a tough challenge in getting the Government funds. We feel that such things happen only in case of the Boro-medium schools and we sense a deep conspiracy of the authorities to destroy these schools and the future of the children studying there,� the people of the area lamented.
Expressing total dissatisfaction over the discriminatory attitude of the Government and the department concerned, they also alleged that citing the bogey raised by a section of anti-Boro elements, the authorities have been creating obstructions in implementing the RTE Act in most of the Boro-medium LP schools in Dhekiajuli area in the district terming these schools as illegally established on forest lands. The general secretary of Sonitpur ABSU, Khaneswar Boro highlighting a few facts regarding the issue, said that as per the �Gazette of India� (Extraordinary), the Scheduled Tribes and other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, scheduled tribes enjoy the right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a forest dwelling scheduled tribe or other traditional forest and notwithstanding anything contained in the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the Central Government shall provide for diversion of forest land for the facilities managed by the Government. �Even after this right enjoyed by the tribal people provided by the Gazette of India, they often face unnecessary harassment in the name of official processes.� He said urging the authority, particularly the new State Government to go deep into the matter before dealing with such issues so that through their acts, the dignity and rights of a particular community is not affected.