Special Correspondent

Police protection was provided to the school on Tuesday following a request from the management

VELLORE: Only five out of 224 students of Vivekananda Aided Primary School in Chinna Allapuram near here attended school on Tuesday. A section of parents and the public on Monday had announced an indefinite boycott of the school demanding government takeover.

Police protection was provided to the school on Tuesday following a request from the management.

A village people’s committee that was constituted to spearhead the agitation has decided to boycott the school till their demand is met. L. Sundaram, committee secretary, said Chinna Allapuram was predominantly a labourer area. Most of the students in the school were wards of beedi workers.

Owing to poor infrastructure at the school, the parents wanted to admit their children in schools on the eastern side of the Officers’ Line.

But, the fear of making their children cross the Officers’ Line, a heavy traffic area, held them back. “But, as the management did not taken any step to improve the facilities, we have decided to boycott the school,” he said.

M. Pichandi, ward 17 councillor of Allapuram town panchayat, said the school lacked toilet facilities and nutritious meal centre. The nutritious meal was cooked in an open ground and there was always a risk of the food getting polluted.

At a tri-partite meeting convened by the Vellore tahsildar at the taluk office here on June 4 in the wake of a school-locking agitation, members of the village people’s committee demanded a government takeover.

They two classes were being conducted in a rented building. The management had not taken steps to develop the school despite having nearly two acres of land.

P. Shanmugam, manager and S. Varadarajan, headmaster of the school who participated in the meeting said that the government had given only 92 cents of land for the school, and not 2.70 acres as mentioned by the `agitation committee’ members.

District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO) A. Ponnammal, who participated in the meeting, agreed to take steps to obtain funds through Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), MLA’s Constituency Development Fund and MPs Local Area Development Scheme for the construction of a building for the school. The village people’s committee members decided to constitute an education committee and mobilise public funds if the government came forward to construct the building under SSA. The tahsildar told the DEEO to indicate the government’s proposal on constructing a building for the school before June 15.

Mr. Varadarajan said that only after the Education Department officials stated that there was no provision for the construction of a building for an aided school under the SSA, the management decided to file a writ petition in the Madras High Court, pleading for a direction to the government to provide financial grant.