Published: 27th November 2018
At this Odisha school, classes have been held under a thatched roof for 16 years, because of red tape
During rainy season, villagers hesitate to send their kids to the school which remains closed most of the days
For the last 16 years, the Shrishapal New Primary School in Moroda of Mayurbhanj district has been functioning under a thatched roof with no walls. A local villager, Shyamsundar Majhi, had donated land for the construction of the school but because of government inefficiency, the project hasn't yet taken off. The school has a strength of 33 students, including 18 female students, and both the teachers and the students sit on the ground during the classes.
The State Government had reportedly sanctioned 50,000 rupees for the construction of a permanent building. But the school has not been able to go through with the plan because the land belongs to the Majhi, an ST community. As per the law, SC/ST land cannot be acquired by the government or any other communities. However, in this case, the kin of the late Majhi have also issued a no-objection certificate through an affidavit on the land but the Block Education Officer is yet to take steps in this regard.
Ramay Marandi, a villager, said despite several requests to the Block Education Officer, District Project Coordinator of SSA, the Collector and MLA Maharaja Prabin Chandra Bhanjdeo for construction of a building, no step has been taken. During the rainy season, villagers hesitate to send their kids to the school, which remains closed most of the days, he added.
Salma Hembram, the headmistress of the school said that since the 50,000 rupees remained unspent for years, it has been returned to the fund. When contacted, District Education Officer (DEO) Dhruba Charan Behera said that due to the ongoing land dispute, the district administration has failed to construct the school building. Steps are being taken to resolve the issue in the larger interest of school students, he added