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What made Govt Upper Primary School Pargochi a preferred school in Shopian?
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What made Govt Upper Primary School Pargochi a preferred school in Shopian?

Post by Riyaz Bhat on Wednesday, October 12, 2022

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Notwithstanding the conventional way of functioning like other public schools, welcome to Government Upper Primary School at Pargochi village in Shopian district wherein a very unusual scene is witnessed as the people of the village stand in queue to enroll their wards in the school.

The teaching staff of the school says that with the quality of education, introduction of different styles of teaching and other extracurricular activities, more than 95 percent of the kids of the village are enrolled in this school.

One of the teachers of the school, Gulzar Ahmad Kumar said, “Almost 95 percent of the students who are upto 8th standard are enrolled in our school. Not only the students of Pargochi village, but the kids of adjacent villages also walk miles to study in the school.”

Kumar further said, “Previously, due to the unusual situations, most of the schools were remaining closed but our school always remained functional. Luckily, the staff in the school is from the local village and we always preferred to remain functional so that the students won’t suffer the academic losses.”

He added that in the past till 2021, the faculty used to teach the students even on the holidays except for the Sundays to compensate for the academic losses and to make the students competitive enough to qualify the different prestigious exams. With this initiative, several students who were studying in private schools also got enrolled in the school.

“Even during the COVID-19 crisis, we moved from one habitation to another to teach the enrolled students,” Kumar said adding “One of the unique steps taken by the school is the introduction of private syllabus cum text books at pre-primary and primary level to lay the strong foundation of the students.”

With this unique approaches and initiatives, people of the area prefer to stand in a queue to get their wards enrolled in this school. 

Kumar said that the Lower and Upper classes have been assigned to two different teachers with the purpose to lay a strong base of the kids. They have been given the specific target to achieve within the stipulated time.

The institution often invites the expert scholars to check the status of academics from time to time. “Alhumdulilah all the experts—be it Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) Imamsahib, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Shopian or District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIET) Principal Shopian have been encouraging our efforts,” he said.

Kumar said that from a few years, the school management has started circulating posters and pamphlets among the villagers to start an enrollment drive not for the Pargochi village only but in the adjacent villages too. “This is a kind of rare experiment a government school is doing.”

Interestingly, the school has raised a vegetable garden, where the staffers pick vegetables for mid day meals.

In the 1990's, the school had gone defunct due to the unavoidable circumstances. However, in 2000 when the erstwhile state government came up with the Rehbar-e-Taleem scheme under which two teachers namely Mohammad Mansoor Bhat and Gulzar Ahmad Kumar got appointed there.

The school management says that due to their dedication and tireless efforts they not only revived the institute but also impressed the local villagers as well as the neighboring villagers by their result oriented pedagogy of teaching.

“In 2011, the school was upgraded to Upper Primary Level and a local master, Mohammad Ayoub Bhat was appointed as head-teacher for the school. Due to the shortage of accommodation, the then teachers constructed five tin sheds on their own expenses and got the students accommodated which are these days used for serving mid day meal to the students,” they said.

The management also said that in 2017, the school was blessed with the new headmaster Showkat Ahmad Lone and due of his effective policies, management and discipline the school has been touching the new heightsin academics. “He laid the tight coordination between the teachers and parents and made them responsible on their part for the all-round development of the students.”

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