TIRUCHY: A whiff of Santiniketan, anyone? Tiruchy may be light years away from Visva Bharati University in Bengal but if you are a parent sending your ward to a private school in the district, chances are that the kid will be taking lessons under a tree, much like what Tagore envisaged.
The only problem is, you cannot rest easy. The schools are doing it as a precaution as children are not safe inside the classrooms.
The Directorate of School Education and Directorate of Matriculation Schools have been instructing to ensure the safety of children studying in all the schools, including private ones, but it is a fact that more than 60 per cent of the private schools are conducting classes under the trees. Barring a few well established private institutions, hundreds of students in junior classes in private schools in the district are forced to sit and take most of their classes under tree shades now.
It is not as if the district school education department is unaware of state of affairs. They have chosen to turn a blind eye to it, it seems. The managements, on the other hand, have a ready excuse -- delay in releasing of RTE reimbursement fund -- that has prevented them from completing the construction of additional classrooms. Left with no other option, they have been conducting the classes outdoors.
One doesn’t need binoculars to spot students sitting and taking their classes under trees, even during hot summer days.
“Out of eight classes, at least three will be conducted out in the open. Though we kept mum on collecting exorbitant school fees, the management failed to provide basic amenities and infrastructure. But, everyday my child has been complaining of skin irritation in both her legs, due to sitting on sand floors,” said a parent of class V girl student, seeking anonymity.
“As per the instructions, we have been admitting the students under RTE Act for the last three years. But, so far, the Education departments did not reimburse the students fee,” S Rajendran, Correspondent, Madhura Vidhyalaya Matriculation School told Express.
P Vasantha, Inspector of Matriculation Schools said that the Centre has sanctioned the RTE reimbursement amount and it would be distributed to the schools shortly. Meanwhile, N Ananthi, CEO said that stringent actions would be taken against the school managements, if they conduct classes under trees.