It has developed cracks, and is unfit for rainy season: parents

The High Court's direction to the City Corporation to shift its girls' middle school at Sannathi Street in Tiruvanaikovil from the existing location from the next academic year, in view of the poor condition of the 90-year-old building belonging to a private trust, has reflected the contradictory position of the education department and the civic body.

While the Corporation has stated in its affidavit to the High Court that the building was not weak, and that it was prepared to carry out maintenance works, the education department has stated that the building was indeed weak, and the school has to be shifted. The standpoint of the trust, the petitioner, was that it cannot be held responsible for any untoward happening due to the dangerous condition of the building.

Parents admit that the building has developed cracks, and is unfit for use in rainy season.

Due to such divergent stands, the 250 students of the school have become the casualty in Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's constituency. Though the school has been upgraded with secondary classes under Rastriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (Universalisation of Secondary Education Scheme), there is no space for construction of additional classes in the existing location. Even the existing classrooms are insufficient for the middle school, according to A. Kamarudeen, advocate and coordinator, Makkal Maiyam.

Mr. Kamarudeen has appealed for the Collector's intervention by way of appropriate instructions to the civic body to go on a higher appeal so as to ensure that the building in the existing location is revamped with the Corporation's funds collected as education cess for running the primary classes.

The secondary classes must be shifted to the nearby land belonging to Jambukeswarar temple, by taking it on a long lease.

The authorities of the temple trust were willing to spare the land, he said, adding that new buildings could be constructed with Rs. 55 lakh that the school is entitled to under the RMSA. The Corporation is currently paying a monthly rent of Rs. 6,000 for the school building.

The private trust, it is believed, intends to utilise its property for commercial purpose, after vacating the school. Had the Corporation constituted its educational committee, and convened its monthly meetings in accordance with the stipulations under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), things would not have come to such a pass, Mr. Kamarudeen explained.

“We fervently hope that the Chief Minister would not let us down,” said a parent.