JAGATSINGHPUR: At a time when primary education in the State is in dire straits due to lack of adequate infrastructure and teachers, an incident of students being allegedly forced to clean toilets in a school has sparked public outcry in Tirtol block of the district. Parents and guardians on Thursday demanded action against teachers who allegedly engaged students in cleaning toilets at Tulang Project UP school. On Tuesday, students of the school were allegedly forced to clean toilets by teachers.
The incident came to light after a student, Parsuram Khuntia of Class VI, informed his parents that teachers in the school were making him and other students clean the toilets. Parsuram also refused to attend classes over the issue.Students should not be engaged in any work other than studies in schools. Asking the children to clean toilets is unlawful and an act of infringement on child rights, said Ward member Subash Mohanty.
Parsuram’s father Khetramohan is a leprosy patient and mother Satyabhama is suffering from cancer. They are unable to take care of the kid. Taking advantage of the situation, the school headmaster and other teachers engaged Parsuram and other poor students to clean toilets and school floor on a daily basis, Mohanty alleged. As many as 64 students are enrolled in Tulang Project UP School. Headmistress Suajata Nayak said, “As there are no sweeper and peon, we asked the students to clean toilets and school premises. It is routine affair.”
After being informed by their son about his plight in school, Khetramohan and Satyabhama took up the matter with Collector Yamini Sarangi. The Collector directed District Education Officer (DEO) Prativa Manjari Das to conduct an inquiry into the allegations.Das said on the direction of the Collector, Tirtol Block Education Officer has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the allegation. “If any teacher is found guilty, stern action will be taken,” she added.
This is not the first case of teachers forcing students to clean school toilets in the district. Earlier in 2014, headmaster and a teacher of Karilo Primary school in Kujang block had engaged Dalit kids to clean toilets. In 2015, students of Olara UP School in Erasama block were found colouring the building and kitchen rooms. Last year, teachers had allegedly made students clean the toilets of Nehru Memorial UP School at Jota village in Salijanga panchayat of Jagatsinghpur block.