Initial enthusiasm gives way to negligence

Tribal school at Attathode in Pathanamthitta district facing closure

July 16, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:39 am IST - PATHANAMTHITTA:

Children climbing the steps leading to the government tribal primary school at the Attathode tribal settlement in the Sabarimala forests on the opening day on June 1.

Children climbing the steps leading to the government tribal primary school at the Attathode tribal settlement in the Sabarimala forests on the opening day on June 1.

The opening day’s enthusiasm has become a thing of the past for the 50 students of Government Tribal School that was opened with fanfare at the Attathode tribal settlement on June 1.

The situation is blamed on the apathy of the Tribal Welfare Department that has failed to fulfil the promises made on the opening day.

The tribal school in the State’s second largest tribal settlement of Attathode is on the verge of closure.

50 students

The school has 50 students, 22 of them from the nomadic Malampandaram families in the forest areas of Laha, Nilackal and Chalakkayam, school sources said.

There is not even a blackboard at the school.

Though the school is supposed to serve food to the tribal children thrice a day, the authorities have not yet released the funds required for the purpose.

Meanwhile, District Collector S.Harikishore recently intervened and sanctioned Rs.10,000 to the school from the Kudumbasree Mission fund.

But, the Education and Food and Civil Supplies departments have not yet made any arrangement for serving mid-day meals to the schoolchildren.

The school’s functioning will come to a halt from Monday if the Tribal Welfare department fails to release the cost of operating the jeep that fetches children from Laha (25 km away) and Chalakkayam (12 km) to Attathode.

The Finance Department too have contributed to the state of affairs by raising objections to clearing the salary bills of the staff.

The school has a headmaster, besides three teachers on daily wages and three helpers.

On leave

Distressed over the state of affairs, the headmaster has gone on leave.

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