School Buildings in Disrepair, Students Forced to Sit Outside

12-02-15 Kshetriya Karwi - School 2 for webChitrakoot. In Chitrakoot’s Nandin Kurmiyan village, despite repeated complaints, students still study in buildings ridden with cracks in the Government Junior School.

‘In the monsoon season, water drips from the ceiling. We send our children here only out of desperation,’ says Hiramani, a concerned parent and a resident of the village .The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and the Right to Education have outlined the importance and provisions for quality education for children in the country but on the ground, physical infrastructure has been ignored by the State and Central governments.

74 students attend classes in this building. Shivshankar and Abhishek, both students in the school also said that many cracks were visible in the ceiling. ‘We have given applications repeatedly, the most recent of these was submitted to the Block Resource Centre in Ramnagar on 27 January earlier this year. But nothing has been done,’ informed the Assistant Teacher Neelam Devi.

A similar state of affairs can be seen in the Primary School building in Baihaar village. Here, the students themselves said that they feel scared in studying inside the classroom. ‘It looks like the ceiling will fall anytime but we have no option,’ says Malti. ‘Sometimes our teacher takes classes outdoors.’ School Principal Maan Singh said, ‘The school building was made in 1962. Today even though the school has a strength of 142 students enrolled here, no action has been taken to renovate the building. We are forced to conduct classes outdoors whenever possible. I have written to the B.S.A. (Basic Shiksha Adhikaari) at the district level earlier this month.’

In Karhi village, the School Principal Savita Devi said that she had written to the B.S.A. in January about the poor condition of the school building but hasn’t heard back from his office even though more than a month has gone by.

An officer in the District Education Office in Chitrakoot said that the new budget would be sanctioned in March, and money for repair of the school buildings would come as part of this. The buildings that needed to be rebuilt would also be sanctioned in this new budget.

According to the rules laid down in the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan, the District Education Officer or Basic Shiksha Adhikari is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of school buildings. These buildings are to be fixed once in every 10 years, and the money for this comes into the bank account of the School Management Committee.

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