In an age where legislations have been enacted making education a fundamental right of the children with even private schools forced to reserve 25 per cent of seats to poor families, students of a rural Government-aided primary school here have had to forego their education for over a week fearing that the dilapidated school building may cave in on them anytime. The locals say that the T.E.L.C. Primary School has been functioning from what a house was built nearly 150 years ago at Valliangoundenpudur, a village located about 35 km from the city, has not seen any class being taken since February 21.
The parents had refused to send their wards fearing that the creaky structure was going to collapse anytime. Parents alleged that the management, however, refused to take any action immediately and had shut down the school till such time the repair works could be taken up.
However, not wanting their children to forgo their classes while the repairs are carried out, the locals constructed a thatched hut nearby so that the teachers could take classes. However, the management had refused send their teachers to take classes in the hut, say the villagers.
The school, functioning since 1955, was the only one in a three to four km radius from the locality. The school had Standards I to V with 16 students now, including seven girls.
When contacted, District Elementary Education Officer T. Ganeshamoorthy told The Hindu here on Wednesday that a notice was issued last week to the school management, which was based in Tiruchi, directing them to carry out repair works. The notice was issued following an assessment of the building’s condition by an engineer deputed by him.
To ensure the children’s education was not affected, arrangements have been made for them to attend the nearby Panchayat Union Schools at Kavillipalayam and Panapatti.
With the Government norms mandating that all habitations must have a primary school within a 1 km radius, the option of a government takeover of the school also existed.
“This year, the Government has taken over a total of 11 schools in the district. But this is mostly done only when management is willing to hand over the school,” he added.