Rashmi Rekha Das

Shortage of classrooms harms students, teachers, and the education system as a whole. In a show of a sorry state of affairs, two teachers of Hadia Higher Secondary School in Jeypore were seen sharing the same blackboard in the same classroom to teach students of two different classes.  That is not all. Students of seven classes are sharing three classrooms in the school. 

Though the school has got a new building which was inaugurated in December, school authorities are not using it as it was constructed with low quality materials, sources said.

Headmaster of the school Mahendra Diari said, “As many as 20-25 students are being taught in a class. Due to shortage of classrooms, we make students of two different classes to share one classroom and share one blackboard. The school is grappling with such infrastructure bottlenecks since 2013.”

“Senior Congress leader Taraprasad Bahinipati had inaugurated the new school building in last December. However, it is not being used as the building is not of good quality. We took up the matter with the Block Education Officer and District Education Officer but none paid heed to sort out the matter”, said a local.

Another resident Sanatan Behera said “We are afraid of sending our kids to school as it has developed cracks. The school is in a bad shape. There is no proper seating arrangement for students. This school is grappling with many issues due to lackadaisical attitude of bureaucrats and concerned authorities.”

When contacted, the executive engineer of the Rural Development Department, he showed unwillingness to comment.

The government-run High School at Halua in Rayagada district has also the same fate.  Students are made to sit in veranda due to lack of classrooms.  

Sources said, approximately Rs 60 lakh was spent for the construction of a school building seven years back.  However, due to misappropriation of funds, the school is yet to be handed over to the school authorities. 

Shradhanjali Badajena, a teacher, said “We take classes on a school veranda owing to a crunch of classrooms.  Students from Class I to X are taught in the school. Students of Classes IX and X sit separately in two different classrooms. But students of Classes VI, VII and VIII are made to sit in a single classroom. Remaining students are being taught in veranda.”

Upon being contacted, Rayagada District Project Coordinator Purnachandra Baria assured to sort out the issue as soon as possible.