Mrunal Manmay Dash

Spending crores of rupees on school buildings does not fructify into anything if the intent is not to provide a conducive study atmosphere. Chiligaon Primary School under Nabarangpur’s Chandahandi block is a testament to that.

At least 30 students from class 1 to 5 of the primary school are forced to leave their school building and study crammed in two small rooms of the local Mission Shakti office after the walls developed cracks and cement plasters fell off from the roof endangering lives of the students.

“We had a building to study. But the roof is leaking water, cement plasters and chips are falling from the roof. We are 30 students and it is difficult to study in Mission Shakti office rooms. There is no place to eat lunch too,” said a student Ratni Kaniara.

“When the roof started to fall off, teachers asked us to arrange another building to teach the students. So we asked the teachers to start teaching in Mission Shakti building. We requested everybody from the DEO, Collector and the Minister. But it has been six months, but no steps have been taken to repair the building,” alleged a member of the school Management Committee, Benudhar Sagadia.

The Head Mistress of the school, Nalini Majhi said, “We feared for the lives of the children when big chunks of cement plaster fell from the roof exposing the rusted rods. A meeting was called in the village and it was decided to shift the students to the Mission Shakti office to study.”

Same situation beckoned the Shagariapada Primary School in Nabarangpur. A huge lock has been hung in the school after the students were asked to stop coming there.

Like in Chiligaon, the students of Shagariapada school too have shifted to an under-construction private building. They are studying there side-by-side the construction materials and working labourers.

Asked about the schools, Chandahandi Block Education officer (BEO), Suven Kumar Mondal said, “The school is in a dilapidated condition. So we had written to the District Education Officer (DEO). Rs 5.5 lakh has already been sanctioned for the job. The work will start soon. Even the Shagariapada school is also under consideration for renovation. I am hopefull at least Rs 10 lakh will be sanctioned for that soon.”