PUDUCHERRY: Structural engineers from IIT-Madras and the Archaeological Survey of India will be visiting Puducherry on Tuesday for an inspection of the schools housed in ‘unsafe’ heritage structures.
Concerned over the safety of students following the recent collapse of the Marie building, the government has sought the engineers’ opinion. A decision on whether to raze the buildings or renovate them would be made after their visit, G Ragesh Chandra, secretary, education, told Express.
The government had declared a holiday on Monday and Tuesday for two schools - Calve College Higher Secondary School (English and French section) and Pensonnait de Jevnne Filles (French medium school for girls) - housed in the unsafe heritage buildings.
Pensonnait de Jevnne Filles was constructed in 1826. At present, around 197 students study in the school, which has 18 teachers and a headmaster.
Calve College, a higher secondary school with English and French sections, was built in 1877. After the Thane cyclone hit Puducherry in 2011, the school suffered damage, particularly in the first floor where classes X to XII were being conducted. Following this classes were shifted to the ground floor in the same school, though the computer science classrooms remained on the first floor.
Similarly, the VOC Higher Secondary school, built in 1986, had been vacated for renovation, though the higher secondary classes continue to be held in an annexe on the premises, just behind the heritage structure. The high school (classes IX and X) were shifted to Cardinal Lourdsamy High Shool a few years back and classes VI to VIII merged with another middle school. However, what is of concern is that the higher secondary students have to reach their classroom by passing through the heritage building at the entrance. Not only that, even the school office functions in the same structure. Due to lack of maintenance of the old structure since it was vacated around four years back, the condition has become precarious.