Primary education infrastructure at Balasore in shambles

Balasore: From dilapidated building to leaking terrace, the building of Bholanath Upper Primary School in Balasore is now crying for urgent attention. The poor infrastructure is causing severe problems for nearly 85 students from standard I to VII of the school which mostly remain closed during the rainy season.

Though the State government claims to have rolled out various schemes to boost primary education in rural areas, the ground reality of education infrastructure presents a totally different picture. The students are suffering due to the lackadaisical attitude of the officials at the grassroots level.

“I am studying in the school since Class I. The walls of the class rooms have developed big cracks and as monsoon rains have arrived, due to water leakage from the ceiling the school is often declared closed. We face difficulties in reading in the classroom,” said Barsharani Sahoo, a class VII student.

On the other hand, the parents allege that they are afraid to send their kids to the schools as the big cracks on the walls and terrace in the building which may collapse at anytime.

“The village panchayat will take over the charge of the primary school and will look after the repair of the school infrastructure and other facilities. Once Rural Development (RD) takes over the work of high school, all such problems will be resolved,” informed Bahanaga Block Education Officer (BEO), Subhalaxmi Nayak.

Not only Bholanath Upper Primary School, the condition of Panchalingeswar Nodal Upper Primary School at Oupada block in the district also reeling under neglect.

Though the State government had declared the school building as unsafe in the year 2006-2007, 285 students are regularly risking their lives with no steps taken by the concerned department for its repairs.

“The school building is in an awful state and one cannot sit there. Therefore we have shifted the students to the firewood storeroom by emptying it,” said Sanjay Patra, teacher.

“Once we get a petition regarding a new building for the school, I will forward it to the BEO for verification. After investigation if the demands are found legitimate, the matter will be forwarded to the Education Department for sanction of funds for a new school building,” informed Nilgiri Sub Collector, Aboli S Narvane.