BALANGIR: In the non-descript village of Badbanki under Turekela block, stands a 56-year-old school with two large locks hanging on its gate.
The school belies the State Government’s claim of compulsory education of all children under Right to Education.
Badbanki School was set up in 1958 and upgraded to high school in 2008. Around 120 km away from the district headquarters, this high school currently has just four teachers for 517 students.
The situation has been such from 2009. It has two teachers for high school and as many for the ME school.
There is no headmaster for the school and posts of teachers in Science, Sanskrit and Hindi and the Physical Education Trainer (PET) are lying vacant. The school neither has a clerk, peon nor a watchman.
In 2012, the school was closed for 10 days. A Maoist poster was then found on the gate of the school building in which, the rebels blamed the headmaster, block resource coordinator (BRCC) and cluster resource coordinator (CRCC) for the school’s plight and threatened them with death punishment. The Maoists had demanded immediate posting of teachers in the school and district administration subsequently, promised to do the needful. The needful, though is yet to come forth.
A local of Badbanki village, Thabir Dharua, said if the situation continues, future of the students will be ruined. “We are appealing the district administration several times to hire teachers for the school, but it has been apathetic,” he said.
With the going getting difficult by each passing day, parents of the students this week met the Additional District Magistrate, Ashok Naik, who assured to look into the matter.
“District education officials have not been paying any attention to this school. Students are being denied good education although we are interested in sending them to school despite our poor economic background,” said Purandar Hans, a villager.
Balangir ADM, Naik, said steps are being initiated to fulfill the demands of the parents. “The school will soon get new staff and all other problems would be sorted out,” he added.
Turekala is Maoist dominated block and Badbanki lies in the border.