The 60-odd students of Corporation Elementary School at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University attend school but not within classrooms. They have the school's noon meal but in the open.
“We do not let the students even step into the school premises,” says a school teacher. For, such is the school's structural stability.
At present, the school students attend classes in a community hall the University administration has given. And they have been attending classes from there since August or September in 2010.
The students' plight is more pitiable during special occasions and weddings, when they will have to vacate the community hall, laments Corporation Councillor M.S. Velmurugan, in whose Ward 57 the University as well as the school falls.
He complains he has been raising the issue from the last year or so but the Corporation officials have not paid heed. “The structure has become weak because while changing the roof from tile to concrete, the engineers as well as contractors have not taken into account the wall strength. In fact, they have only replaced the roof but not the wall, whereas the contract was for strengthening the foundation as well as the wall.”
The school caters to students from Poosaripalayam, Panaimarathur and Sundapalayam Road. And, if the school were to be closed down the students would be forced to go to R.S. Puram.
Mr. Velmurugan says that the Corporation has already closed down the schools in Poosaripalayam and on West Arokiasamy Road and is in the process of shutting down the one in Seeranaickenpalayam.
If this were to continue the students from middle, lower middle and poor classes would be put to great hardship, he laments.
The Corporation's Committee on Education, Play Grounds and Parks has taken up the issue and recommended construction at Rs. 40 lakh, says R. Kalyanasundaram, the Committee Chairman.
The Corporation has also floated the tender and issued the work order but the contractor has not taken up the work for the last four months, he adds.
The Corporation's engineering wing sources say that they will ensure that the work starts soon.