Coimbatore's Ondipudur government school a picture of neglect

Further, they alleged that Chief Educational Officer R Balamurali did not take action on their complaints this regard.
Several empty liquor bottles, and packets of tobacco products near the toilet building, and overgrown bushes behind classrooms were seen at the Ondipur government school surroundings.
Several empty liquor bottles, and packets of tobacco products near the toilet building, and overgrown bushes behind classrooms were seen at the Ondipur government school surroundings.Photo | S Senbagapandiyan

COIMBATORE: Though the school education department had instructed headmasters (HMs) to ensure school campuses were cleaned before reopening, the campus of the boy’s government higher secondary school at Ondipudur is overrun with bushes, littered with liquor bottles, and tobacco products.

Parents said due to poor administration, the children are facing several issues like drinking water shortage and unclean toilets resulting in open defecation. Further, they alleged that Chief Educational Officer R Balamurali did not take action on their complaints this regard.

During a visit to the school on Monday, this reporter saw several empty liquor bottles, matchboxes, and packets of tobacco products near the toilet building, and overgrown bushes behind classrooms. Moreover, hundreds of unused benches  were dumped on the terrace. Toilets used by Class III to Class VI students were poorly maintained.

C Kathir, a parent, told TNIE that as the toilets are in poor condition, students are forced to relieve themselves in the open behind classrooms. Despite common toilets being constructed by an NGO for the high and higher secondary class students, the HM does not allow students from Class VI to X to use them, he added.

A teacher from the school who did not wish to be named said the drinking water tank has not been cleaned for more than two years and three water dispensers that were brought for the use of students remain idle. “Though the school education department allocated grants to maintain the school campus, it is filled with bushes and students face threat from reptiles,” he said adding,  police intervention is needed as use of tobacco products is high among students and miscreants enter the school campus at night to consume liquor.

A member of the school management committee alleged that the school is not just weak on the administrative side but also in academics as well. Last year the Class X pass percentage in the school was 69 per cent and this year it went down to 66 per cent. She added that none of the students are aware of the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMS) exam from this school which indicates that even teachers do not care about the students.

Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

“Admissions has also come down and few parents got their children transferred to other schools,” she further said. Another parent, K Vasudevan (name changed) told TNIE, “The school atmosphere is so bad because of the HM’s inability. We filed a complaint regarding all the issues to the CEO last month. However, action has not been taken, We request the higher authorities to transfer the HM and regarding this, we will be meeting the district collector Kranthi Kumar Patti soon.”

The school premises houses the District Education Office (DEO) for private and District Institute of Educational and Training (DIET). Repeated attempts to contact CEO R Balamurali and HM T Paulraj went in vain  Collector Pati said he would take the necessary steps after an inquiry.

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