Schools reopen, but Fani restoration work continues in Odisha

Puri: Amidst much chaos, schools across Odisha reopened after summer vacation today. However, it was not an easy affair for the students particularly in the cyclone Fani-affected districts owing to non-completion of restoration works in their respective schools.

From broken doors to roofs, the students were welcomed by heaps of rubble assembled at different locations and broke structures inside their respective schools. The cyclone Fani, which hit the State on May 3, caused massive destruction in Puri district.

Apart from damage to windows, boundary wall, main gate and library, bulk of the infrastructure at Puri Government Girls’ High School was damaged in the cyclone. Though the repair works is currently underway in the oldest school of the district, nobody knows when restoration work will be completed.

Similar is the case of Samagara High School which is also reeling under neglect. The students of Class IX and X are being taught in one classroom as cyclone Fani damaged several other classrooms of the school.

“Six classrooms of our school were damaged during the cyclone Fani. The Rural Development department is engaged in restoration work and has assured to complete work within next two to three days,” said Arabind Dash, a teacher of Samagara High School.

Not only Puri, the restoration works in several schools in Khurda district is also incomplete. The Kudiari Government High School in the district bore the brunt of the cyclone as seven classrooms and other infrastructure of were damaged.

“Our main aim is to provide education to the students, but what can we do if there is no classroom in which they can sit and learn,” said Kuduari High School headmaster kashinath Das.

In the very first day of the new academic session, the turnout of students was much less. On the other hand, parents expressed concern over the safety as their children are forced to study in dilapidated school buildings owing to delay in completion of restoration and repair works.

“All schools are reopened and the current academic session has started. The State Government is taking all steps to complete the pending works,” said School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash.