All is not well with this SC primary school

Building construction halted for eight years

Published - January 30, 2018 11:42 pm IST - SURYAPET

Students of Harijanawada Primary School in Suryapet attend classes under tree as they do not have a building for the past more than seven years.

Students of Harijanawada Primary School in Suryapet attend classes under tree as they do not have a building for the past more than seven years.

With just 10 students in 2010, and 87 now, the ‘Harijanawada Primary School’ about 2 km from the town’s centre is not a model school, but it surely is an example for many others in the State.

Thanks not only to teachers, who visit homes if a boy or girl remains absent, but also to the poor parents who send their children regularly from about 3 k.m. away, the school is running.

But, all is not well. Whether known as ‘open-air school’, or ‘classrooms without walls’ - for nearly seven years, classes for standards II to V are conducted under the canopy of trees on this rented campus.

Eleven students in class 1 are accommodated in the small office room and the only other infrastructure available is one toilet and recess equipment – a spinning top and two skipping ropes. No blackboards.

And when it rains, all students walk to a nearby high school where they are provided a hall.

“The annual maintenance fund of ₹5000 is not sufficient even for the rent of ₹1,500 a month. We contribute from our salaries, for students’ notebooks, drinking water, rent and all other supplies and consumables,” the teachers say.

The school is also a ‘hands-on place’ for 10 Technical Teacher’s Certificate (TTC) candidates and has three permanent teachers, (one on study leave).

On the other side, disappointed parents feel the situation is because of the neglectful attitude of the administrators that is delaying construction of a new premises.

“It is an embarrassment that Minister for the Scheduled Castes is from Suryapet. Did he do anything for the school, even when he was an Education Minister?,” asks Venkatesh, father of two children studying in the school.

However, the teachers said the authorities had sanctioned ₹5 lakh under Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM), for construction of a building in 2010 in place of the dilapidated and abandoned premises.

But, as technical teams opposed feasibility at the place, the sanction was cancelled and returned twice. The problem also is of identifying another land in Suryapet, where real estate value has skyrocketed, they explained.

The open-to-air school is an all-at-one-place facility. Students read, play and eat, dust their re-purposed empty rice bags for sitting mats and continue learning.

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