CHENNAI: Greeted by gaping cracks and crumbling plaster, panicked parents of children studying in Nesapakkam Corporation primary school staged a protest in front of the school on Monday. As a result, a holiday was declared for the day.
Around 600 students are studying in the Nesapakkam Corporation primary school. On Saturday, a portion of the beam broke and fell off, according to the parents. Following this, parents staged a protest outside the school on Monday and refused to send their wards to school.
“Authorities react only when we hit the streets,” said Lakshmanan, a member of the parent-teacher association. “The school is in bad shape for over two years and huge cracks had developed over time. We submitted several petitions to the corporation but to no avail. After the incident on Saturday, we fear for the safety of our children,” he further said.
Following the protest, corporation officials visited the school and inspected the building. After assurance from officials, parents called off the protest. An official with the Education Department of Corporation told TNIE, “Engineers inspected the building and certified it to be safe. The cracks are minor and can be fixed through retrofitting. We have made temporary arrangements. Classes till the second grade will continue in the additional building on the same premises. For third to fifth grade, classrooms are allotted in the Nesapakkam high school. In the meantime, repair works will be carried out.”
Corporation officials were instructed by the authorities to assess the condition of buildings, including schools, that could be in bad shape. When questioned about the condition of other schools, the official added, “We don’t have similar issues elsewhere. We will inspect and ensure the safety of school buildings.”