ROURKELA: Despite tall claims of school transformation in the state, two government upper primary schools, one in urban area and another in rural mining block of the district, unfortunately have a sorry story to tell.While Government Upper Primary School in Rourkela city battles with infrastructure and teachers’ shortage, another in the remote mining block of Hemgir in Sundargarh forces its students to attend classes in another nearby school.
The school in B block of Koelnagar in Rourkela city, established in 1986, has around 100 students from Class I to VIII huddled together due to shortage of classrooms. Reportedly, four classrooms are dilapidated and the rest five too are on the verge of collapse with concrete lumps falling from the roofs.
Sources said, only 35-40 students from the nearby areas and slums, attend classes at the school where the bulk of mid-day meals supplied by Akshay Patra Foundation goes waste, they added.
Less than a year back, four teachers were posted at the school taking the strength to seven besides a physical education trainer. But they seem least bothered about children’s education, alleged locals.
Ironically, the mother of a Class III student, who works as a domestic help and is also a member of the school management committee said her child has not learnt a single Odia alphabet. The school authorities however keep asking her to arrange private tuition for the child, she further complained.
Headmistress Seemashri Mishra said she has written to the higher authorities about infrastructure problems and claimed the school with 101 students is running smoothly. She evaded questions on the school’s problems. Bisra block education officer Sarangadhar Bariha, who is in charge of Rourkela city said a surprise visit would be conducted and details of school records and authenticity of enrolment would be checked.
The Government Upper Primary School at Barpali village of Duduga panchayat in Hemgir block too is under abject neglect. A year back four dilapidated classrooms were demolished for construction of new ones but the work stopped midway. With three functional classrooms left for 138 students from Class 1 to 8, the students enrolled in Class I to V, are forced to attend classes at another school nearby.
In October, the villagers had put forth their grievance before the Sundargarh collector following which construction of the classrooms was expedited.Headmistress Umakanti Buda said 76 students from Class I to V and their teachers use classrooms of another school about 1.5 km away. Carrying mid-day meals for the students is an added trouble, she added.