Villagers lock edu officials

Express News Service | Published: 12th September 2018 02:56 AM
Classes being held on road (above). Two of the officials locked inside a room (below) | Express

BHAWANIPATNA: Villagers of Latkabaheli under Kesinga block in Kalahandi district on Tuesday locked three officials of School and Mass Education department over construction of a  school building for the primary school in the village.

The officials who faced the fury of villagers are District Education  Officer Pradip Kumar Nag,  District Project Coordinator (DPC) of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Gabakhya Naik and technical consultant of DPC office Bhubanand Hota.

The building of Latkabaheli primary school, which has 164 students and six teachers, was declared unsafe two years back. Subsequently, the school management committee made an arrangement to run the school from an Indira Awas Yojana house of a villager.

However, a year later, the house owner refused to allow the school to operate from his house and asked the committee to vacate the premises. The matter was brought to the notice of Block Education Officer, Kesinga, who directed that the school be attached with Phatkamal Primary School, 3 km away, till the new building is constructed.

This, however, was not accepted by the school managing committee that asked the  school teachers and headmaster to hold classes on a public road as a mark of protest.  They started holding classes on road and some villagers recorded it and uploaded the video on social media sites. The video soon became viral and headmaster of the school,  Haraprasad Sahu, was placed under suspension.

This further angered the committee members. The School and Mass Education department officials visited the village on Tuesday  to inquire into the issue and identify site for construction of the new school building.

The villagers then confined the three officials in a room for about three hours.

The villagers expressed their discontent over delay in construction of the school building. They alleged that although the existing building was declared unsafe two years back, it was neither demolished nor a new building constructed.

Police and the Block Development Officer reached the spot and pacified the villagers. After the officials assured for early construction of the school building, they were allowed to go.
The District Education Officer informed that construction of the school building will begin after monsoon ends and till then, Latkabaheli primary school will function from Phatkamal village.

CLASSES ON ROAD
The school management committee made an arrangement to run the school from an Indira Awas Yojana house of a villager.
However, a year later, the house owner refused to allow the school to operate from his house and asked the committee to vacate the premises. Subsequently, classes were held on road

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