Karnataka: Students worried as their 100-year-old school is set to face the axe

 A government primary school is all set to be demolished in its centenary year this year. Ironically, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had in his state budget announcd that state-run schools which ar

Published: 13th March 2018 05:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2018 05:57 AM   |  A+A-

Students playing at the Government Primary School at Siddapura in Bengaluru | JITHENDRA M

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  A government primary school is all set to be demolished in its centenary year this year. Ironically, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had in his state budget announcd that state-run schools which are 100 years old would be identified as heritage schools and upgraded. The demolition move comes barely six months after closing down a 147- year-old aided school citing low student numbers. But though the Government Primary School in Siddapura, established in 1919, has a healthy student strength, it will make way for a community hall and a memorial hall if the Social Welfare Department has its way. But the Education Department has been kept in the dark, according to officials.

There is a big question mark on the future of around 60 students, mostly runaways and street children.
The Social Welfare Department plans to construct an Ambedkar Bhavan and a Professor B Krishnappa memorial hall. A copy of the proceedings of the meeting where this decision was taken is available with The New Indian Express. 

The proceedings mention that the decision was taken based on directions issued by the Social Welfare Minister who considered a request submitted by the MLA of the constituency R V Devaraj. As per the records available with the Department of Public Instruction, the school started in the year 1919, and has 60 students studying from class 1 to 7th with three teachers. Interestingly, all these students live on the school premises itself as they are rescued and street children. 

An NGO  which works with street children admits rescued kids in this school and provides food for them in the morning and night. A teacher from the school said, “As there are 15 rooms in the school, we have left a few for these kids to stay in. During  afternoon they get midday meals, while morning and night meals are taken care of by an NGO.”

Around 60 students of a 100-year-old government-run primary school received a rude shock as they were served a demolition notice by the government instead of upgrades or new facilities in the school’s centenary year. The Government Primary School, Siddapura, which was established in 1919, will make way for a community hall and a memorial hall if the Social Welfare Department has its way. A decision to this effect was taken by the Social Welfare Department recently and shockingly, the Education Department was kept in the dark, according to officials. 

Asked if the school had taken any measures, headmaster Naga Naik said, “We have informed the Block Education Officer (BEO) about the  issue and the same will be forwarded to higher authorities through him.” Meanwhile,  school authorities have no information about alternative arrangements. Both teachers and students don’t know what will happen to them if the school is demolished.  The Social Welfare Department makes no mention of a building to be constructed for the school to continue functioning. Speaking to TNIE, PC Jaffer, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said, “I have no information about this issue yet. I will write to the Social Welfare Department and check.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Karnataka news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp