Elementary education at the Old Jalda (Upgraded) Upper Primary (OJUGUP) school and Jalda B Primary (JBP) School near here is in complete mess.
Sans required infrastructure, students are crammed in small classrooms. During monsoon, the problems compound due to water-logging in the classrooms.
Set up in 1975, the OJUGUP school has 194 students reading in Class I to VIII. The only bright spot is that Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) built three classrooms in recent years. Two old classrooms are permanently locked after being declared unsafe.
Stand-in headmistress Mariam Ekka said at least five new classrooms are needed as currently, combined classes are held for Classes I to IV. As many as 61 students of Class III and IV have to be crammed into the small Birsa Munda classroom and the classes are taken together.
Ironically, a new classroom building was left halfway in 2011. Local resident and Lathikata B Zilla Parishad member Sunita Kisan flayed the local authorities for the poor infrastructure.
Situation of JBP School having 151 students in Classes from I to V is no different. Set up in 1959, classes of the school are conducted in dilapidated building which has asbestos roof. Two of the highly damaged classrooms were abandoned.
JBP School headmistress Sumati Sahu said in rainy season, water leaking through cracks in the roof virtually floods the classrooms. Worse, the school does not have power supply or toilet facility.
Lathikata Inspector of Schools Mahendra Singh said all the students hail from BPL families.
Stand-in District Project Coordinator to Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) Bhairav Chandra Patel said in 2012-13, Sundargarh district drew a blank against additional classrooms (ACRs) and it is hoped to get more than 500 ACRs in 2013-14. He asserted to address the issues of the Jalda-based schools at the earliest.