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Odishatv Bureau

The Odisha government has rolled out its ambitious Mo School Campaign in the State to improve the quality of education and teaching experience by establishing smart schools. However, the hype surrounding the success of smart school initiative appears to be a major failure in reality. 

There are innumerable instances of educational institutions where the flagship initiative of the government has not been able to provide basic learning facilities to students, let alone smart education.

For example, in the case of Padhiari Nodal Vidyapeeth in Astarang block of Puri district, even though the school still awaits completion, it has already been virtually inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Sources said Patnaik inaugurated as many as 48 smart schools in Puri district with 3 alone from Astarang area. 

"The people of our Panchayat fear that the administration inaugurated the smart school even without fully installing all facilities just to put up fake bills," rued an Astarang resident.

While a similar kind of situation also ails the Government Girl's High School in Udala area of Mayurbhanj, in case of Keonjhar's DN High School, another serious issue continues to plague the fate of students. 

Headmaster of Padang High School in Keonjhar also admitted to the fact that there is a crisis of teachers in the institution. "There are only five classrooms in our school and a severe crunch of teachers is hitting education," said school headmaster Babul Chandra Nayak. 

Despite the implementation of smart infrastructure in the school, an acute teacher crunch is crushing the smart education dream. The absence of adequate teaching faculty is also a glaring concern in case of the govt girl's high school and NS Police High School. 

According to reports, the State government has upgraded as many as 100 schools into smart schools. However, at least 35% of teaching faculty posts there are lying vacant. 

Sources said a total of 1026 schools have been transformed into smart schools in Odisha in the first phase of the initiative. The government claims a rise in motivation among students for attending such smart schools having facilities at par with private schools. However, political observers feel that the government decided in favour of hastily inaugurating smart schools in the State without even actually completing works in many of them, only to earn public appeal for the forthcoming Panchayat elections.

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