It is no news that Government schools in India have a poor education system. However, the controversial news that suggests that the Indian education system has advanced too much to newer heights. A Karanataka government has crafted new ironies. The school was found to have a peon who teaches mathematics to the students, while the appointed mathematics teacher rests in their chairs. Reasonably the school claimed that the peon of the school was more “eligible” to teach mathematics than him.

Image a government high school in India. The class is silent, the students are staring at the board and taking down the notes, but there is no teacher in front of the class, but a school peon is taking the class. The actual mathematics teacher who is also the headmaster of the school is relaxing sitting on a chair while operating social media on his phone. This scene is not from a revolutionary Anurag Kashyap movie based in a secluded rural village but a real incident from a government school in Karnataka.

The incident came to the light when during a 10th class mathematics lecture; the headmaster, who is also the appointed mathematics teacher, was caught using his phone while relaxing on a chair in the class. While the peon taught the students of the class, this headmaster was scrolling through social media posts.

As per a report by Logical India, headmaster of a Government High School at BS Beleri Village in Gadag district of Karnataka claimed that the peon of the school was more “eligible” to teach mathematics than the mathematics teacher himself.

With the heavy rains going on in the state, the schools have been kept shut for a long period. The students have suffered a lot of academic loss in terms of syllabus coverage. As a result, the Department of Public Instruction has advised the government school authorities to conduct additional classes during hours after school to cover the syllabus.

Government High School at BS Beleri village is crowded with merely 65 students. The school is managed by a headmaster and has a staff limited to eight regular and one guest teacher. Of the total 65 students of the school, 25 students are currently enrolled for class 10th. The peon of the school, Mallesh was taking mathematics lecture of the students even though headmaster B M Kataraki, was available and was in good health.

B M Karakati

This was not the first time that it had happened in school. It is a regular scene of the school and has been going on since quite a few months now.

Well, there are two coins to the incident. On one end it shows the potential of the peon, who is doing a menial job even though he is eligible enough to teach higher mathematics to a class of 25 pupils. On the other end, it shows the irresponsible and careless attitude of the headmaster towards his job and towards the future of the children.

A peon can’t teach as good as a person posted as headmaster can. In spite of bagging hefty salaries every month from the government, this kind of people lacks to obey their duties. People like B M Kataraki are the true face of illiteracy in India.

This was not very well taken by the student’s families. The parents have been agitated and demanding strict action against the headmaster and the school authorities considering their poor attitude towards the students’ career. This is not the first time. As being told by the parents, there have been several other incidents and complaints that show the irresponsible and careless attitude of headmaster during class hours. He has been accused of using the phone during class hours multiple times before.

The parent’s concern is real. People from the poor and underprivileged section of the society, push themselves to be able to afford the education of their children. In a country like India which praised itself in the name of modernization, urbanization and globalization, for being digital & tech-ready, there are still many homes, where parents feel it useless to send their children to school. Well, these incidents have yielded them another reason.

Some children fight with their families to study. Some families have a mother or father who goes against their stereotypes to send their wards to schools. Indian government schools are filled with such children. What impression would incidents like these will have on such fighter for education.

The headmaster, however, has rendered a simple statement in his defence stating that the peon is more capable of teaching mathematics to class 10th & that he should be praised for it.

“The peon is good in Mathematics and he teaches well, so I have asked him to take the classes. Allegations slammed against me for being busy in the mobile phone during class hours are false,” he said after he was caught red-handed.

Well, then why would Mallesh get only the duty of teaching Mathematics. Shouldn’t he be entitled to the salary that headmaster gets for teaching maths? How would it affect Mr Headmaster?

Further, to defend the allegations of using phone multiple times as well, earlier during lectures he excused that the mobile phone is commonly used as a medium to communicate with higher officials & other educational authorities. He said that he would glance at his phone during classes and not indulge in long social media scrolls. However, the students have opposed the headmaster’s claims and said that he is lying about it.

The issue has been put before the N Nanjudayya, Block Education Officer of the region. He has claimed to be unaware of the issue and assured that strict actions will be taken against him.

The government needs to keep an eye on the operations of such educational entities. People like this headmaster come to school to rest in chairs and operate phones while they get paid out of allocated government funds for NOT teaching students. Incidents like these are not only hammered the career of students, but it also highlights the government funds being wasted in waging such reckless individuals. It lets people doubt the government officials potential and honesty and darkens the image of government-funded education in India. With one such person, the whole society suffers.