Mrunal Manmay Dash

The sorry state of affairs of Odisha's education system continues to shock as many primary schools and Anganwadi centres do not have roofs forcing the students to either sit under trees or in mud-houses.

While the government is spending crores of rupees for the development of education in the Swabhimaan region, in reality, the students are being made to sit in a hut made of mud at the Dandalgandhi primary school in Dhuliput panchayat of Chitrakonda block in Malkangiri district. It has two teachers with 52 children for Classes 1 to 5.

The construction of the school has been going on for three years and it is yet to be completed. Therefore, if it is constructed immediately, there will be no hindrance in the education of the children, the headmaster said.

Similarly, the Anganwadi centre at Tasarada in Telipal panchayat under Nilgiris block is running under the open skies and sometimes under a tree.

Anganwadi worker of Tasarada is forced to teach students under the tree after the building which was built in 2000, is now in a dilapidated condition with falling plasters from the roof.

“The Anganwadi centre has been broken for long. The Anganwadi didi had told us to take the students out of the broken building as it was not safe for them anymore. Since then, the students are studying either under a tree or on somebody else’ verandah,” said Tasarada Ward Member Kuanr Majhi.

A similar situation has been seen at the Jadida Anganwadi centre. Since there is no house, the Anganwadi didi is running the Anganwadi centre by building a mud asbestos house on her own land.

“We are suffering a lot here. Students cannot study during the rains. Whatever, mud and asbestos house has been made, it is on the land of the Anganwadi didi. Government has provided us no assistance," said the Anganwadi helper.

When asked, Nilgiri CDPO, Sanjukta Maharana said the construction of the Anganwadi centre is going on. “There are 389 Anganwadi centres under Nilagiri. Construction of buildings is currently going on in many centres. Construction of 192 buildings has already been completed,” she said.