Staff Reporter

Acute water crisis in 560 schools

The schools are managed by the ITDA

BERHAMPUR: The amenities and standard of education in the schools meant for tribals and dalits in South Orissa need much improvement.

As per reports furnished at a review meeting chaired by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division, Chandrasekhar Kumar, the state of schools in remote areas of south Orissa needed much improvement.

Till now 337 schools in south Orissa did not have any electricity connection. The RDC directed the authorities to initiate measure so that these schools could be electrified either under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) of Central government or Biju Gramin Jyoti Yojana (BGJY) of State government. It was also found that 560 schools were reeling under water crisis as they did not have proper drinking water facility.

Although sanitation is said to be a major point in school education process, 6011 schools in south Orissa did not have any toilets in them. It is an irony that every year gastro epidemics recur in remote areas of south Orissa due to lack of sanitation and contamination of water sources .

In south Orissa 585 new residential schools for SC & ST are to be constructed. Work of 162 was complete and out of them 17 was in Ganjam district.

The residential schools and general schools for SC & ST students are managed by the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) and the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) development department of the State government. In recent past irregularities in some of these schools in parts of south Orissa had made headlines. There were frequent cases of elopement of students from hostels who alleged lack of proper amenities and teaching. There were also allegations of harassment of students by the teachers. Even some girl students were sexually exploited in a school by teachers and staff in Nabarangpur district. The result of students of these schools was also abysmal. It had led the administration review the state of these schools.

Mr. Kumar advised the officials of the Education department to stress on the improvement in the study of Mathematics, Science and English which would enable these students from remote areas to take up professional courses in future. He came up with plan to select five good students in each school and provide them special coaching to excel.