KENDRAPARA: Exposing the sorry state of primary education in the district, a Government-run school is functioning in a temple at Pandiri village here for the last two years. The reason: Its own 55-year-old building is in a dilapidated condition and the teachers are not taking the risk of holding classes for children in it.
Apart from attending classes, the students of the primary school are even taking their mid-day meals in Maa Ghumafatei temple. Locals said despite several requests to the authorities concerned to construct a new school building, no action has been taken in this regard so far.
“We are cooperating with the school authorities to run the school in one of the rooms of the temple,”said Bhikari Das, a villager. As many as 34 students are enrolled in the school with two lady teachers.Headmistress of the school Manjula Nayak said, “Due to shortage of rooms, we are teaching all the students of Class I to V in one room of the temple.”
Parents complained that their children were facing hardships due to overcrowding in the room and they have taken up the matter with the authorities several times in the past.
Many students alleged that they were not able to concentrate on studies as the room was full of noise due to combined classes. Besides, they are forced to sit on the hard floor due to lack of benches and chairs.This apart, students and teachers are barred from entering the temple during the period of obsequies. Recently, Pujarini Biswal, a Class III student, was debarred from entering the temple for 12 days after her grandfather passed away.
“There is a 12-day period after the death during which the immediate family follows Hindu mourning customs. We advised students and teachers not to enter the temple room during this period,” said priest of the temple Prafulla Dash.
Block Education Officer (BEO) of Kendrapara Bhagirathi Nanda said the authorities granted `9.22 lakh to the school for construction of a new building in 2017. However, the construction work has been moving at a snail’s pace. “Work on the new school building is underway and it will be completed this year,” Nanda added.
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