Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In what could baffle the tall claims of the Odisha government, students of a school in tribal-dominated Kandhamal district are reportedly attending their classes under a tree for the last three years in the absence of adequate infrastructure.

As per reports, students of Class VI in Jhiripani Government High School under Tumudibandha block in the district are forced to study under a mango tree located on the bank of a river as there is only one classroom for 156 students of eight classes in the school.

Due to the lack of classrooms, while some students of a class are forced to read in the CRC building, others are having their study by sitting in the kitchen. As no more rooms are available, students of class VI have no alternative but to study under the tree.

Though the school teachers have informed the higher authorities about the ordeal of the students due to lack of classrooms and requested them to take necessary steps several times, it has so far fallen on deaf ears.

“It gives us immense pain to teach the students under the tree in dangerous condition for the last three years. We request the government to take necessary steps to arrange proper classrooms for the students of the school so that the teaching will be effective for them,” said a teacher of the school.

“We have informed about our problem to the district administration several times. However, we have only got assurances in return. No steps have been taken so far to solve our problem,” she added.

“We are always in a state of panic while teaching the students under the tree. A branch of the tree may break anytime causing injury to the students. During the rainy season, we face many problems,” said another teacher.

The students also rued lack of classrooms in their school.

“It is often scary to read by sitting under the tree. We can’t read during the rainy season due to lack of classrooms. It is also difficult to concentrate on study by sitting outside the classroom,” said a student of the school.

Meanwhile, Tumudibandha Block Education Officer (BEO) Pabitra Badatia said that he is aware of the problem of the school and steps will be taken to solve the issue soon.

“We have written about the problems of the school to the higher authorities. Hopefully, it will be solved soon,” said Badatia.