JAGATSINGHPUR: The ambitious project of the State Government to open model school in each block to improve the education standard of rural students has run into several hurdles which may derail the plan to start the classes from 2018-19 academic year. While the Government norm of not allowing the students reading in schools, which have not obtained NOC from the Education department, to take admission in model school has deprived hundreds of students, basic infrastructure is yet to be put in place in several blocks.
The Government targets to open eight model schools under Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan in the district. The education in these schools will be imparted on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas as per NCERT syllabus. The study materials and uniforms would be provided to students free of cost. Though all the schools would have Class VI to XII, this year only Classes VI and VII would be started at Salajanga under Jagatsinghpur block.
School and Mass Education department had invited the students for admission in Salajanga model school through advertisement on March 17. Hundreds of students had appeared at the entrance test on April 10. While eighty seats each for Class VI and VII had to be filled up, only 128 students including 74 for Class VI and 54 for Class VII were selected and their admission has been completed.
Ironically, even as the seats remain vacant in the school, hundreds of students were deprived of appearing at the entrance test on the ground that their present school has not obtained the any objection certificate from the State Government. Among the deprived students are Sachidananda Swain, a Class V student of Sisu Mandir, Sabhamula under Jagatsinghpur block and Bibekenanda Swain of the same school. Interestingly, the students of the Sisu Mandir have been allowed to take admission in Central School and Navodaya Vidyalaya.
Some parents regretted that nearly 240 students, who are reading in private schools having no NOC, have been denied admission to model school for none of their faults. As these private schools are running with the knowledge of the School and Mass Education department, no action has been initiated against them, they alleged.
Meanwhile, the construction of Salajanga model school building has not been completed due to fund crunch. Similarly, land has been identified in Balikuda, Biridi, Kujang, Tirtol and Raghunathpur blocks, but construction work is yet to start and the land in Erasama and Nagauon blocks has not been identified so far. Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Odisha Mining Corporation have extended financial support for construction of these model schools. Under the circumstances, starting the classes from July is under serious doubt.
District Education Officer Prativa Manjari Das admitted that the number of students admitted into Salijanaga model school was short of the total strength. Regarding the fate of other schools, she said they have sought the intervention of Revenue department for advance possession of land so that the building work can start.