Jharkhand govt school makes primary students to clean utensils after mid-day meals
The principal of the school justified the action saying Mata Samiti, which is responsible for cooking of the mid-day meal and cleaning of utensils, was always short- staffed.india Updated: Jun 14, 2017 16:56 IST
Primary school children, who often struggle to hold pencils and erasers properly, were made to clean utensils at a state-run school in Jharkhand.
The exploitation came to the light when some parents saw their children washing dishes outside the school premises after mid-day meals at the Kulta-Jharia Primary School in Dhanbad.
Children aged between five and nine years were made to wash their dishes and clean utensils, said Somnath Paul, who has lodged a complaint with the district education officer (DEO) seeking stringent action against the school authority for the “inhuman act.” Paul’s son, a class 2 student, was among the children made to participate in the cleaning.
Principal of the school Pravin Chandra justified the action saying Mata Samiti, which is responsible for cooking of the mid-day meal and cleaning of utensils, was always short- staffed, forcing them to seek the children’s help for the cleaning up. Chandra further stated that the utensils were cleaned outside the school premises as such activities in the past led to water logging on the campus due to lack of a drainage facility.
Shanti Devi and Upashi Devi, the two Mata Samiti staffers, said they had raised the issue of water logging with the village school management committee (VSMC) on more than one occasion, but it had fallen on deaf ears. “Hence, we occasionally use children for cleaning dishes as the arduous task of cooking, lifting and cleaning utensils cannot be handled by the two of us alone,” Shanti Devi said.
VSMC president Ganesh Roy blamed the local ward councillor for the absence of drainage facility, cited as crux of the problem by the principal.
DEO Madhuri Kumari confirmed receiving a complaint from Paul. She said she would personally visit the school to get first-hand information and get a drain constructed if that is the main reason behind engaging children for washing utensils.