Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Though the Odisha government is boasting of many schemes to strengthen education at the grassroots level and transforming the infrastructure of several schools under the 5T initiative, some educational institutions still exist in the State that don’t have the minimum basic infrastructure.  

Take the case of the school and anganwadi centre at Nashikeshwar Gram Panchayat under Kakatpur block in Puri district. Both the educational institutions in the village don’t have their own buildings and kitchens. These government-run institutions are reportedly functioning from the panchayat office building.

As per reports, the primary school in the village was set up in 2010. However, the teachers of the school are forced to take classes on the verandah of the panchayat office as the institution doesn’t have its own building. Similarly, the anganwadi centre in the village is running in the panchayat office godown. The computer room of the office is being used as the kitchen for the school and the anganwadi centre. Making things worse, both institutions can’t function whenever the panchayat office is closed.

“Our school doesn’t have a building of its own. As a result, around 50 students of our school are forced to sit on the verandah of the panchayat office. We are facing a lot of problems in our study because of it. We demand the construction of our school building at the earliest,” said Guduli Barck, a student.

Meanwhile, the headmaster of the school and the anganwadi worker have alleged that the higher authorities are sitting idle despite having knowledge about the sorry state of both institutions.

“We are fully dependent on the panchayat office for taking classes and cooking purposes. We are facing many problems as the school doesn’t have its own building. Only two teachers are teaching 50 students on the verandah. We demand construction of our school building at the earliest,” said headmaster Sanjay Sahu.

“We are forced to run the anganwadi centre at the panchayat office godown as we don’t have our own building. The higher authorities are taking no steps in this regard and as a result, we are facing so many problems,” said anganwadi worker Mamata Sahu.

In response to the allegations, Kakatpur Block Education Officer (BEO) Dilip Kumar Jena said that the issue will be solved soon.

“Land has already been identified for the school building and a grant has also been provided. The school building will be constructed soon,” said Jena.

Meanwhile, Kakatpur CDPO Merry Michael expressed her helplessness about the construction of the anganwadi centre building.

“I have already appraised the issue to the higher authorities. We are trying to make an alternative arrangement soon,” said Michael.