VILLUPURAM: Visit the Adi Dravidar Primary School in Senthamangalam village near Ulundurpet and you will find about 100 students of various classes packed into a single classroom and taught by one teacher.
The school was opened six decades ago, but now it lacks the most important element needed to run a school — teachers.
What’s worse is that this situation has been prevailing not just for a few months, but for five years.
There are 101 students from Classes I-V studying in the school. About a year back, the headmaster was the only faculty. After he retired, another teacher was appointed in his place and he is the only teacher till date. Though a new building with three classrooms was built in 2007 by the Adi Dravidar Welfare Board, two of the rooms remained unused and the teacher had to teach all the students in a single room. He is not able to do his job properly as most of the time is spent trying to manage the students. The students are bound to face difficulty once they are done with their primary education and have to go to other schools to continue their studies.
Besides, most of the students don’t even know the English alphabets.
S Vaitheeshwari, a Class V student, said, “We have not had our morning assembly for the past five years. Besides, the lack of teachers has affected our studies.”
The parents have no choice but to send their children to this school as there are no others in the surrounding areas, barring only one government-run school where the management does not grant admission to the Dalit children, and most of the students are caste Hindus, the parents alleged.
As if this were not enough, the Adi Dravidar Welfare school lacks basic amenities. In spite of the construction of the new building, the school still doesn’t have proper toilets.
Also, there is no compound wall. As such, the sight of pigs roaming on the school premises has become commonplace, those living close to the premises say.
Speaking to Express, Kanaga Ambethkar, village president, said, “Several petitions have been sent to the welfare board and the Education Department in the past four years, but to no avail.”
When contacted, S Nirmala, Adi Dravidar Welfare Board Officer, and other Educational Department officials, said they have sent a proposal for funds to build the compound walls in all schools.
“Once sanctioned by the State government, action would be taken immediately,” she said. Also, staff would be appointed in the school at the earliest, officials added.