MALKANGIRI:Students of Purunapani Primary School listen to their only teacher attentively as the chilly breeze of a winter noon blows by. The shade of a mango tree serves as classroom as well as dining hall for the students of the school in Nuaguda panchayat of Korukonda block limits of Malkangiri district. This has been the fate of the school ever since it was set up, about six years back. The school is yet to get a building.
Making a mockery of the Government’s education for all, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, only one Sikhya Sahayak teaches the 34 students of five classes in the school. While there are six students in Classes I and II, Class III has five students followed by nine in Class IV and eight students in Class V.
While students and the teacher have been weathering summer heat and winter chill, it is during the monsoon that they face trouble in managing the show. The tree also doubles as a dining room. Food under mid-day meal is served to the students under the tree and in absence of a kitchen the food is also cooked in the open.
Two other primary schools at Eargapu and Paliguda under the same panchayat function without school buildings and run under trees.
Purunapani village headman Budu Dalapati said, repeated pleas to the block authorities and district education officer to construct a school building have fallen on deaf ears. “Parents are not ready to send their children to the school. Students face hardships sitting on the ground and they are also at the mercy of nature,” he added.
Sub-Collector Birendra Karkara said, there are 72 primary schools across the district which do not have buildings. Recently, OPEPA sanctioned buildings for 22 schools and we have to check whether the three schools are in the list or not. Even if the three schools donot find a place in the list administration will make arrangements for construction of the buildings on priority basis, Karkara said.