Pradeep Pattanayak

After spending lakhs of rupees for the modernization of a 5T school in Bhubaneswar, the institution has been closed down citing poor attendance. This is a clear case of ‘Sarkar ka maal dariya me daal’ (If the money belongs to the government, you are free to dump it in the river).

The Government High School at Unit II in Bhubaneswar was renovated and modernized under the 5T initiative at a cost of Rs 45 lakh. While the classes were transformed into smart classrooms, the building along with the campus was refurbished. The school had students from Class VI to X. 

This school has now been closed by the School and Mass Education department. 

The reason is cited to be poor attendance. After the Matric examination, the number of total students reduced to 35. Now the question that arises here is how the school was functioning with such poor attendance and how the school was chosen for modernization. 

The school authorities were contacted for their comments, but they chose to remain tight-lipped in this regard. 
Similar pictures of utter dismay can be seen in Nabarangpur district. 

At present, modernization works are underway at Nabarangpur Government Municipal High School even though a total of 45 students are studying in two classes-Class IX and X. 

In stark contrast, the Government Upgraded High School in Nandahandi block in the same district has 149 students, studying in Class IX and X. But, the school is struggling due to lack of infrastructure. Ironically enough, development under 5T has bypassed this school. 

“The government is spending money under 5T on those schools that have poor attendance but ignoring those ones that have over 400 students,” rued Mohan Rao, a Nabarangpur resident. 

In this regard, the Nabarangpur District Education Officer (DEO), Pradeep Kumar Nag said, “The government aims to transform all the high schools into 5T schools. The schools are being taken up in phases. We don’t have any problem in upgrading that school (Government Upgraded High School).”

“Spending money on those schools that have poor attendance and then closing them means government money being thrown down the drain. The wasted money could have been used in other schools where the enrolment is good. Action should be taken against the officers who are wasting government money like this,” observed Prabodh Kumar Panda, an educationist. 

When asked, School and Mass Education Minister, Samir Ranjan Dash said, “In the coming days, the schools having poor attendance will be closed down.”

Notably, Minister Dash had said in the Assembly that 1075, 3461 and 2336 schools have been identified for transformation under 5T in the first, second, and third phases respectively. 

The moot question is what is the basis of the selection of schools for transformation under 5T.

  • Reported by:
  • JAGDISH DAS , Naba Ghana Bishoi