MADURAI:With cracked walls and crumbling plasters, the ill-maintained buildings of the 24 panchayat union schools situated in the newly-annexed areas of the city are putting the lives of thousands of students in peril.
After a roof of the 30-year-old panchayat union primary school in Anaiyur came crashing down on Thursday, more than 40 children of class III and IV were shifted to another nearby building. Luckily though no one was injured in the incident, it created anxiety among parents and educationists.
The building remained in a dilapidated condition for several years, with the paint peeling off and the crumbling plaster and cracks on walls standing testimony to neglect. Repeated appeals by locals only fell on deaf ears.
“I am really scared to send my children to Anaiyur school. As I could not afford to pay the fee demanded by private schools, I have been sending my two children to study at the panchayat school with utmost fear,” said a worried R Kurumban, a daily wager from Anaiyur hutment.
The condition of the other school buildings in the newly-annexed areas are no different. Of the 24 schools from the erstwhile 17 local bodies, more than 20 school buildings are in deplorable condition.
Besides, most of these schools do not have drinking water and toilet facilities. Neither there exists a school compound wall nor playground. The schools have a cumulative strength of 1,500 students.
Sources in the parent - teacher associations informed that it has been proposed to bring these schools under the control of the Corporation. Chief Education Officer J Angelo Iruthayasami said, “All the assistant elementary education officers have been instructed to inspect school buildings and submit a report. “