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Rashmi Rekha Das

Education system has undergone a sea change from Vedic days to today’s computer age. In this digital age, thinking of a school sans its own building, tables, and chairs sounds unreal. Still, such school exists in rural pockets of Odisha. Let’s visit one such school that has been functioning from the verandah of a house for over a decade. 

Situated at Silikisuga village in Kandhamal district, the school has been grappling with infrastructural woes much to the inconvenience of students for the last 12 years. In the absence of classrooms, the students are being taught at the verandah of school committee president. 

As if it was not sufficient, the school has no blackboard which is why teachers were seen using bibi cloth as blackboard.  
The verandah is also being served as a kitchen to prepare mid-day meals for the students. Students are served mid-meal there too. 

Set up in 2010, the school has two teachers to teach students. Repeated requests to the district administration and political leaders to allocate funds for school building have yielded no results, it was alleged.  

A teacher said, “Though the school was founded in 2010, it still lacks its own building thanks to government apathy. As a result, students have to go through many difficult situations in the absence of classrooms. Two teachers including me are there to teach 16 students. Parents are worried, but we are helpless. Verandah is used as both kitchen and classroom.”

School President said, “For the last 12 years, students have been taught at the verandah. We had built a hut from where the school was functioning for the first two years. The hut, however, got damaged completely following which students are being taught in the verandah of my house.”

A villager said, “We had written to Block Education Officer in April following which a letter was issued to school in this regard. Though the administrative officers assured to allocate fund for construction of school building, it is yet to see the light of the day.”

Notably, a day after OTV aired the sorry state of a Boys’ High School at Binika in Sonepur district, the district administration woke up from its slumber and made students attend lectures in a smart classroom. Now, villagers are hopeful that Kandhamal district administration would take a call on it after the report was aired by OTV.

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