CHANDPUR: Educational activities are being hampered seriously for long for teacher shortages as all the govt high schools in the district run sans headmasters and 50 assistant teachers, sources said.
There are seven government high schools in Chandpur, which are left with these vital posts vacant.
Three of the schools are in Chandpur town, two in Kochua and another two in Haimchar upazilas.
In the absence of head teachers, all these schools have reportedly been running with acting head teachers as make-dos for a long time.
When contacted, District Education Officer Md Giasuddin Patwary admitted to the vacancies at the top of the educational institutions.
"Due to the shortage of assistant teachers and head teachers, teaching has immensely been hampered for many years," say the teachers concerned, affected students and their guardians with one voice.
Contacted, the same view was echoed by Ferdousi Begum, acting headmistress of Hasan Ali Govt High School -a 135- year- old renowned institution in the district.
She said there is a shortage of 16 teachers in her school for a long time. "But, despite this shortage, I am trying my level best to run both the morning shift and day shift of the school properly."
She hopes the posting of assistant teachers would be made soon after appointing necessary teachers.
Another school which is about 100 years old is Matripith Govt Girls High School in the town. But, there is a shortage of 10 assistant teachers here. It is also run by an acting headmaster for a long time.
This school has no girls' hostel as yet and so meritorious girls of distant upazilas have to stay in relatives' houses against their choice and desires. The school has no playground of its own either and so girls can't play well on the small premises of the school.
In the past, the school had a microbus of its own for bringing the girls from distant areas to school in time. But, later, it was auctioned as it went out of order.
There is a shortage of 15 assistant teachers in Chandpur Govt Technical High School. An Acting Headmaster, Serajul Islam, has headed this district's lone technical high school for a long time.
In Haimchar Govt High School, there is a shortage of four teachers. There is no physical teacher, too, for long. An acting head teacher, Md Fazlul Huque, has stood in for one year.
In Haimchar Govt Girls High School, the post of Headmaster has been lying vacant for six years. Acting Headmaster Mohammad Shah Emran is in charge. He has to reside in a room of the school. Out of nine, the school is lucky to have eight asstt teachers of whom four have recently joined here after they were transferred from Cumilla.
In Kochua Pilot Govt High School, there is a shortage of four assistant teachers. An acting head teacher runs the school for many years now.
There is no shortage of assistant teachers in Kochua Shahid Smriti Govt Girls High School. But it is run by an acting headmistress for many years. Recently necessary assistant teachers were appointed here.
There is no dormitory for head teachers, nor is there any hostel for boys and girls of distant areas at the Upazila-level govt schools, alleged the teachers and acting headmasters.
District Education Officer Md Giasuddin Patwary says in the absence of Headmasters from the seven govt schools in the district for a long time, only the schools' senior teachers are working as Acting Head teachers in these schools.
According to official statistics, DEO Md Giasuddin Patwary adds, "Out of 173 posts in the seven govt high schools, there is a shortage of 50 assistant teachers in the seven govt high schools in the district."
He, however, expects these problems will be solved soon after the Ministry appoints teachers and head teachers.