A model school of a sort, it draws students from at least 15 nearby villages. But the teachers and parents are not so happy about the future prospects of the school.
Agani Charan Bidyaniketan in Sandado village of Bhadrak district might collapse any time. And the fear has prompted the teachers to take classes for the 200-odd students in the open sky during rains or heavy winds, and not in the classrooms where makeshift bamboos support the dilapidated thatched roofs.
Locals attribute its sorry state of affairs to consistent neglect by the Education Department. The high school, upgraded from a Middle English (ME) school, was set up by a freedom fighter Agani Charan Nayak in 1951.
It was upgraded to a high school in 1981. Today, it caters to the needs of 10 villages of Gopinathpur panchayat in Bhadrak district and five villages of Baratana panchayat in Balasore district.
It desperately needs a face-lift. “Ironically, the condition of the school structure worsened after it was made grant-in-aid school in 1994,” said Surendra Natha Nayak, president of the school’s management committee.
While the mud walls of the classrooms are on the verge of collapse, the bamboos have been set up inside the classrooms to save broken thatched roofs. The school has eight existing thatched huts and one asbestos roofed room - not enough to accommodate the students and offices. “The rooms are so vulnerable that the teachers are forced to suspend the classes during rain and stormy weather,” Nayak said.
Without a library, nearly 2,000 books have been crammed in a cupboard in the office room. The school provides little scientific and technical education as it has no equipment, said Parikshita Mishra, the headmaster. The fallout has been adverse. There is gradual decline in the number of students.
But for a new small asbestos building constructed with MPLAD fund, no improvement has been undertaken by the State Government.
For the last 20 years, no funds have been allotted either by the government or the local administration for its infrastructure development. Though there are toilet facilities set up under Zilla Parimal programme four years back, girl students are put to difficulty as there is no boundary wall.
Contacted, CI of schools Satyamohan Senapaty pointed out that there is no scheme for funding the grant-in-aid schools.