by Mehtab Shinde
PUNE, JUL 27, 2016: When the governing Department of Education in Pune declined aid to Yerwada-based Don Bosco High School (DBHS), to construct an additional division, to deal with the issue of overcrowded classrooms, the school Management faced an uphill task to find a solution.
The Management, led by Father Bosco D'Mello – who took up the issue after he joined in 2015-16 – the staff and the Parent Teacher Association formed a committee to tackle the issue. Team work paid-off and the committee decided to construct temporary make-shift classrooms for eight years on the premises to seat the students.
The plan worked and on June 15, students moved into their new sections. A 'phasing out' process was also instituted to ensure that extra divisions divide the strength and bring the class within limits for a period of eight years. The new admission process for Jr. KG will also henceforth be controlled to ensure that the problem does not continue in the future.
The plan was not easy as the school faced several difficulties, one being the infrastructure - a need of eight extra classrooms. To address this concern, a few vacant rooms were put in use. Make-shift rooms were constructed to accommodate the extra divisions. They were also equipped with facilities like proper lighting, ventilation, LCD Projectors, Tata Class Edge and the appointment of more qualified teachers.
DBHS is a Government-aided school and its classrooms could only accommodate a maximum of 56 students. However, in reality, it accommodated 70 to 77. The excess number of students meant that until last year at least three students would share a desk meant for two and some would also sit on the floor near the entrance.
In the senior classes, it was even more inconvenient as the desks were joined to accommodate as many as possible. Students would be forced to keep their bags on their laps the whole day and students had to share their books, as it was inconvenient to keep their books open on the desk. Teachers also found it difficult to connect with each child and to correct each student's books.
With the new measures being instituted, school life is not the same for the students and teachers. The youth are now seated comfortably. Due to the reduced teacher-student ratio, there is better receptivity and more discipline in the class. Someone rightly said, 'Children are nation's biggest resource, raising them well is the best investment you can make.'