THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When students come back to their schools after the devastating flood, it should be to a healthy and hygienic environment. This was the only thing in the mind of those teachers from Thiruvananthapuram, who had taken up the responsibility of cleaning activities of those flood-ravaged schools in Chengannur, Alappuzha and Upper Kuttanad. Headmasters, teachers and office staff of various schools came together and cleaned almost 30 schools in the regions. Despite Onam vacations, as many as 500 teachers split into 20 groups attended to different schools in flood-hit areas.
“Our team, consisting of staff from District Education Office and teachers from various schools, went to Pavukkara Harijan Welfare School,” said Lalita Kumari, District Education Officer, Thiruvananthapuram. The school was in an extremely bad condition. Classrooms, staffrooms and all were inundated and was thick with mud and dirt. “The wells were all polluted and drinking water was a major concern. We brought bottled water with us along with the cleaning materials,” she said.
Shafeek A M, teacher of Govt HSS, Thonnakkal, who volunteered in the cleaning activities, said, “The water level had risen and caused severe damage to books, school documents and computers. Floor, desks and benches and all were thick with grime. The storeroom was stinking due to stale food materials. The situation is not constrained to a single school. Most of the schools in the flood-ravaged regions suffered a similar pathetic state.”
“Many flood-hit areas in Mannar Panchayat, still do not have a proper space to dump waste materials. This could be a serious problem on coming days as most of the houses dump it on the roadsides after cleaning. And some of these paths lead to schools, where students walk on a daily basis,” said Mohammad Rahim, Malayalam teacher at the Government Model Boys HSS, Thycaud.
He coordinated and volunteered one of the teams of teachers. He said many hygiene issues may trigger due to the improper dumping of waste on the roadsides. “It is important that students come back to a safe environment when the schools reopen, “ he added.Sheela, District Education Deputy Director, Lalita Kumari, District Education Officer, Shailaja Bai, AEO, Sreekumar, District Project Officer led the two-day cleaning activities.