Authorities at the Government Sanskrit High School in Thiruvananthapuram open the school gates each morning expecting the worst. Cleaning the school compound is a task they take up with trepidation because it’s not just fallen leaves or papers they would be cleaning. Alcohol bottles, broken taps, filthy clothes scattered in classrooms, the mess created by anti-social elements is cause for concern for the students and teachers alike.

In spite of repeated complaints, the authorities concerned have failed to address the issue.

The students and teachers, by now, have adjusted to the misused school properties. Moreover, the school, which once used to be the learning centre for children from the higher strata of society, attracts few students now and seems to have lost its sheen.

“Students in four classrooms at the high school section have to do without fans as anti-social elements have destroyed the switchboard. “This is the second time this has happened. On some days, we find alcohol bottles and undergarments in the classrooms,” said J. Jaya, school Headmistress.

According to her, raising the school compound wall can solve a few problems. The school is located in a commercial area close to the bus depot and people often take shelter on the school premises, which also houses a lower primary section and an anganwadi.

Two of the four taps were found broken and the switchboard was found missing. The front wall at the entrance to the school was found damaged.

“The wall was damaged when a KSRTC bus hit it while parking. We used some school funds and reconstructed it. However, this happened a second time. Though we wrote to the KSRTC officials, no action has been taken,” said another official at the school.

Lack of funds

At present, there are 59 students, out of which only 33 are eligible for the noon-meal scheme. However, most of the students studying here are from financially backward families.

The school authorities have no other option but to serve lunch to the remaining 26 students, but not without money management problems.

Unlike other schools, we cannot boast a PTA fund as the families of the students can barely pay the school fee. While the various funds allotted by the government are used for maintenance work of the old building, most other repair works are done with contribution from teachers, said Ms. Jaya.

However, in spite of all these, the school has managed to win best results in examinations.

The school recently organised a programme to felicitate the school topper who was presented a cash prize, a contribution from the teachers of the school.