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A cement godown doubles as school

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Makeshift classroom: Classes being held in a cement godown in Mysore.
Makeshift classroom: Classes being held in a cement godown in Mysore.

R. Krishna Kumar

The building has no power supply; there are no desks, chairs

MYSORE: The Government has often emphasised the need to improve infrastructure in government schools, particularly in rural areas. But little has been done to achieve the goal.

Close to this city of palaces, described as a seat of higher learning, is a government school that is located in a cement godown. Students of the eight and ninth standards of Hinkal Government Higher Secondary School have been accommodated in two large rooms meant to store cement.

The school has about 360 students and six rooms. One of the rooms is used by the headmaster, one is reserved for the Akshara Dasoha or midday meal programme and one is reserved for the computer laboratory.

Though the Government has sanctioned funds for the construction of classrooms, the amount was not released in time and the blueprint was not approved so that the work could have been completed during the summer holidays when schools are closed.

Now two classrooms are being constructed when classes have started, and it is anybody’s guess as to when they will be completed.

“While funds have been sanctioned for two classrooms, it is not sufficient and students will have to be taught in a similar ambience as this school caters to a large area comprising Hinkal and surrounding villages,” said one of the staff members.

The cement godown lacks power supply and a small blackboard is balanced on two chairs. There are no desks and chairs, and children squat on the floor leaving their footwear outside. The only silver lining is that the owner of the godown has not asked the school authorities to pay rent. It was only recently that the Government Girls Pre-University College was in the news as classes were held in the open because the college building was structurally weak. But a good Samaritan, on learning of the pathetic condition of the college, provided funds to improve infrastructure.

The Hinkal school is located on the outer ring road that leads to the state-of-the-art global education centre being constructed by Infosys with an investment of over Rs. 1,650 crore.

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