Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is it a school or a grazing ground?

Both the State and Central Governments are implementing measures to ensure that all children compulsorily receive primary education and are educated at least upto matriculation. The recently introduced Right To Education Bill by the Centre is a step in this direction.

The State Government, on its behalf, has stepped up recruitment of Primary School teachers, providing amenities and other infrastructure facilities to the existing schools all over the districts. But just like any other Government initiative, their effective implementation is always saddled with corruption, lethargy and neglect. The endlosers are these little children who are deprived of their rightful education in their formative years.

Very recently, SOM carried an article on the deplorable ways in which food was being served to children at Nazarbad boys hostel run by the Social Welfare Department. The Government Primary School in Jayanagar, adjacent to ISKCON temple, is another example of apathy by the officials of Education Department in providing basic facilities.

With around 80 students attending this school, it doesn’t even have a proper toilet except for a dilapidated cement structure standing forlorn in a corner. The students are forced to attend nature’s call in the open field behind the school. Boys and girls take turn to quickly ease themselves and get back to class but the teachers go to the neighbouring ISKCON temple to attend nature’s call.

Weeds and wild bushes have grown in the entire courtyard in front of the school and in the surroundings. The school doesn’t have any compound wall. This makes it easy for the cattle and sheep to get inside for grazing and sometimes even straying inside class rooms. There were even instances of children witnessing snakes slithering in the area. Adding to the woes of these little children, there is no proper drinking water facility, except for a hand pump. There is also no power supply to this school.

About two years ago, nearly 20 Guntas of land was allotted for this school by the Government. But after that nobody bothered to take up any infrastructure work. Though it is compulsory that every school must have a playground, the children here are deprived of that opportunity. The authorities too have not bothered to issue the sports materials which must be provided to every school as per law.

In spite of the school being located along the main road, there are neither any proper traffic sign-boards nor a road hump. With heavy vehicles plying on the road, teachers help students to cross the road in the evening after the classes. When such is the state of affairs, how can the student strength be increased ? Very soon this school also may lack students like the century-old Lakshmipuram School.

In the midst of all these, a woman clandestinely residing there has fenced a small patch of land to grow vegetables and prevent straying cattle. The present school building has four blocks which was constructed in association with the Mysore Round Table-21. The area Corporator and authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to this school.

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