UMERKOTE: Amid the hype over the Odisha government’s school transformation programme, a primary school in Nabarangpur’s Jharigaon block is running from a warehouse of the Civil Supplies department for the last eight years.
In absence of a building, quality education, smart classrooms, hostels, a clean environment, and scientific equipment are a distant dream for the 47 students enrolled in Udliaguda Primary School which has a headmistress and a lone teacher.
Due to the lack of kitchen facilities, the students are forced to take lunch in the yard of the headmistress’ house, situated one km away from the school. All the students from Class I to V are taught simultaneously in the single room warehouse.
School headmistress Sushila Mohanty said five years back, around Rs 7 lakh was sanctioned for the construction of the school building. Of the total amount, only Rs 1.90 lakh has been spent on the construction of the building foundation. The rest Rs 5 lakh is lying unutilised with the administration.
Expressing displeasure over the functioning of the school, parents accused the district education officials of depriving students of basic facilities due to their neglect. They said students of nearby Kutri Chhapar and Jayanti Nagar primary schools, located at a distance of just one km from Udliaguda school, are enjoying all the facilities and benefits of the government.
District education officer Jagannath Dharua, who is currently attending a departmental training programme in Nabarangpur town, didn’t pick up calls. Chairperson of Jharigaon block Durga Majhi said he would draw the attention of the administration towards the sorry state of the school.
“If this is the situation of schools in the block headquarters, what would be the standard of education in remote areas? It is easy to guess how responsible are the officials of the district education department,” he added.