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School students stay away from classes

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Steadfast: Villagers and students observing a fast at Keezh Perambalur on Saturday.
Steadfast: Villagers and students observing a fast at Keezh Perambalur on Saturday.

S. Ganesan

PERAMBALUR: Nearly 1,500 students of three schools in different parts of composite Perambalur district were boycotting classes over the past few days demanding upgradation of village schools.

The boycott was first resorted to by residents of Sannasinallur last week in Ariyalur district. The tactics have now been adopted by two other villages in Perambalur district. Elders in all the three villages have decided not to send their wards to schools until their demands were met.

About 260 students of Panchayat Union Middle School in Sannasinallur were staying away from classes since June 11 seeking upgradation of the school into a high school. Another 400 and odd students of the Government High School at Ogalur and about 750 students of Government High School at Keezha Perambalur were also staying away from the classes over the past three days, seeking the upgradation of the schools into higher secondary schools.

While residents of Sannasinallur have deposited Rs.1 lakh as public contribution for upgradation of the school, those in Ogalur and Keezha Perambalur have made public contributions of Rs.2 lakh each. A common plaint among the villagers was that in the absence of high/higher secondary schools in their villages, they had to send their children to schools situated far away from the village.

The provocation in Ogalur and Sannasinallur has been the upgradation of schools in nearby villages. The villagers have also launched indefinite agitation in the form of fast and demonstration.

Officials said that though they had forwarded proposals for upgradation of 23 schools in the district, only four got the government approval this year.

Peace talks held with residents of the three villages failed to break the deadlock. Chief Educational Officer N.K. Rajarajan, the respective Revenue Divisional Officers, Tahsildars and district educational officers held talks with residents of the three villages.

Education Department officials said they have forwarded a report to the higher officials in Chennai. Perambalur Collector Anil Meshram has forwarded proposals recommending the upgradation of the two high schools.

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