Published: 13th April 2022
Villagers and guardians take over this primary school in Odisha, hire teachers as well. Here's why
Considering the situation, the villagers and guardians held a meeting on the school campus on Saturday, April 9, and decided to open the school and take the responsibility of teaching their children
Protesting the merger of the primary school in their village, residents of Dinasinghpatana village in Niali block, Odisha, have taken up the cudgels of educating their children by reopening the institute and appointing teachers on their own arrangement.
Earlier, the state government had decided to merge 14 primary schools located within one km radius with schools nearby. Dinasingh Patna primary school was one among the 14 primary schools which was to be merged with Niali high school. Villagers said the merger meant children will have to walk for two km via the main road and through a forest to reach the school and hence, submitted a petition to the School and Mass Education department opposing the decision.
Acting on the petition, the department on November 7, 2021, sought a report from Niali BDO who then took stock of the situation and submitted a report. He suggested not to close or merge the school on the grounds that the demand of the villagers was genuine.
Even though the schools which remained closed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic started reopening on February 28, Dinasingh Patna primary school remain closed and its students were not admitted to Niali school, which deprived them of education.
Considering the situation, the villagers and guardians held a meeting on the school campus on Saturday, April 9, and decided to open the school and take the responsibility of teaching their children.
Accordingly, Dinasingh Patna primary school was opened on Monday with 36 students from Class I to V. Villagers have now roped in retired local teachers Sunamani Singh, Jyotshna Singh and former local sarpanch Prasant Kumar Singh to teach the students. As per the decision taken in the meeting, retired teachers and unemployed educated youths of the village will take turns to teach the students till the School and Mass Education department takes a call on formally opening the school and appointing teachers.
Niali Block Education Officer Pratima Mohanty said the state government, which had directed the merger of Dinasingh Patna Primary School with Niali High School, is yet to direct the reopening of the school.