Rashmi Rekha Das

Buildings, classrooms and toilets are critical to learning environment in schools. It is proved that good quality infrastructure facilitates better teaching, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates, among other benefits.

Be it primary education or upper primary education, the Odisha government has literally failed to provide required infrastructure to primary and high schools which is why students are being deprived of quality education.

Take the case of Maa Batulei High School at Astaranga block in Puri district and Khaladi Primary School under Udala block in Mayurbhanj district. Infrastructural woes have hit hard education in these schools. 

While students are being taught in an unsafe building in Astaranga, shortage of classrooms prompts teachers to teach students from Class I to Class V in a classroom.

At a time when the state government claims to have spent huge chunk of money for infrastructural development through Mo School project, these schools show the stark reality. Here is a ground zero report of OTV…

According to sources, students belonging to Uddayakani, Chhenu, Tundahar and Kalamkani areas solely depend on Maa Batulei High School for their education. As the school is lying in a dilapidated state, students now-a-days are afraid of coming to school.

Priyanka Priyadarshini, a student said, “As the school is near the sea, chances of school getting perished in cyclone cannot be avoided. Due to lack of repair, the school building has developed cracks. Another school is 10 kilometer from our village. Thus, we are completely dependent on this school. I would like to request the state government to give a facelift to the school so that our siblings can also enrol their names in the school,”

Rajalakhmi Nayak, Astarang tehsildar, said, “I have visited the school which is used as cyclone shelter centre. I have observed that this school has developed cracks for being an old institution.  We will definitely try to renovate it as soon as possible. 

Khalidi Primary School at Udala is also in bad shape.  As many as 80 students of five classes are being taught in a classroom. Teachers’ crunch, moreover, added woes of the students.
As two classrooms of the school are lying in decrepit conditions, students are being taught in a classroom”, teachers claimed. 

A student said, “As our classroom has got cracks everywhere, we are being taught in a classroom. We find it hard to concentrate on study due to too much noise by students. We would be grateful if the state government repairs our classrooms.”

Block Education Officer Ramakant Mahanta said, “More classrooms are required for smooth conduct of school. Some classrooms are unsafe. I have drawn the attention of district administration in this regard.”