CHENKANAL: For tribal girls in SC & ST Department-run Mahisapat Sevashram School, education has become a distant dream.
There are as many as 115 tribal girls on the school rolls studying from class I to VII and most of them belong to districts of Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar.
Shortage of teachers, infrastructure and the unsafe school building has only added to their woes.
The school has four classrooms which often leads to overcrowding and there is no playground. The students take mid-day meals in the backyard of the school in open. There is no boundary wall to the school which has been functioning for the last 20 years.
Worse, there is no official electricity connection to the school for the last one and a half years. Though the school management has deposited Rs 50,000 towards the electricity connection, no work has been initiated in this regard so far. The school is now running on an illegal electricity connection.
The school management committee members said although they had sought opening of class VIII in the school, no permission was granted due to lack of infrastructure.
They said the Government provides ` 630 for each girl student towards food and other miscellaneous expenses which is grossly inadequate. “Recently, the government had sanctioned `1 crore towards construction of new hostel building on the school premises, but the funds are yet to be allotted,” said District Welfare Officer (DWO) P K Das.
Earlier, last year, the DWO had sent a proposal to the Department for construction of kitchen rooms, dining halls for 27 sevashram schools in the district. The estimate report says each kitchen and dining hall would cost Rs 6.90 lakh.
Das said the district unit of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has not been cooperative for development of this school. He added many proposals had been sent to the SSA for construction of additional classrooms. “There is no response despite reminders,” he said.
Efforts to contact district project co-coordinator, SSA, Sachidananda Sahoo proved futile.