Above 10 thousand primary students stay for eight hours in school in Jhenidah

Physical mental growth hampered for want of timely food, rest

Delwar Kabir

When the government has taken every step to ease the sufferings of minor students of various educational institutions, the primary education department in Jhenidah has introduced single-shift in a number of schools where the minors stay continuouslyfor eight hours or more time in the school.

The single-shift has been conducted in 71 primary schools out of total 907 in the district. It has been affecting them badly, said the guardians of the students and a number of headmasters of the schools.

When this correspondent visited Hetampur government primary school and some other institutions on Shailkpa and JheniidahSadarupazila, talked to a number of minor learners, guardians and teachers of the schools.

A number of learners studying in class three to five said they arrive at the school before 9in the morning to participate in national anthem. Although the first phase of the study of preprimary, class one and two is ended by 12.30, they (three to five)  stay 4.15 PM until and unless the school is shut. It takes another 20 to 30 minutes to arrive at their respective homes.

The students said a good number of them rush to the school without breakfast and cannot take lunnch in the noon as most of the families cannot arrange the same for their children so early. Further, the learners who reside about one kilometer or more distance from the schoolsare deprived off bathing facilities every day.

The guardians said their children cannot participate in any game outside the schools, keeping them away from proper physical and mental growth.

Contacted headmaster of the school RubinaAkterBanu said the minor learners rushedto  the school before 9.00 AM and stay till 4.15. Of them they allow the learners of pre-primary to three after 12.30 PM. Sometimes some of the students feel discomfort for continuous stay till 4.15 PM.

Headmaster said her two-storied building can accommodate four classes at a time. But she is compelled to run six classes every day. Students of two classes are accommodated at the dilapidated and abandoned tin-shed house finding no other alternative. Both the students and teachers feel discomfort in running classes there, she said.

District primary education office sources said they have introduced single shift in 71 primary schools in the district where adequate classrooms are available. About 10 thousand students of class three, four and five, have been attending classes for at least seven hours a day.

Number of single shift schools was 10 out of total 215 in JhenidahSadar, 25 out of 150 in Kaliganj, eight out of 74 in Kotchandpur, six out of 152 in bordering Moheshpur, 10 out of 131 in Shailkupa and 12 out of 135 schools in Harinakunduupazila, DPEO said.

Veteran child, adolescent and new born specialist, also the principal of Magura medical college and hospital Dr. Aloke Kumar Saha when asked said the children should be given enough food, provided physical and mental exercise and rest for smooth growth. Longtime staying in the classrooms might hamper the normal growth of a child, Saha said.