Three months into academic year 2016-17, 42 tribal students, whose education was being sponsored by the state government under the special scheme launched for tribal students in 2009, have returned to their homes in Shahapur, Thane. Their parents alleged the Class 7 students found it difficult to live in “inhabitable conditions”. They have now approached the government seeking admission in another school.
After studying Class 1 and 2 at a school in Panchgani, the students pursued Class 3 to 6 at Shivneri school in Pune, which taught the CBSE syllabus. However, the state de-registered the Shivneri school, following which the students were shifted to DSB School in Kalyan, which taught the state board syllabus.
When the students complained they found it difficult to cope with the new syllabus, they were shifted to a CBSE school in Jaisingpur, Kolhapur in July this year.
However, the living conditions of this residential school in Kolhapur were traumatising for the children, said their parents.
According to the parents, the students were allowed to bathe twice a month and, as a result, began to contact skin diseases. However, they were not given proper medical treatment.
“When we asked the management why the students were not allowed to bathe, they gave us the reason of the shortage of water owing to the drought,” said Chandu Kavathe, a parent.
The students were put up in a common hall and were not allowed to attend the classes when the government resolution states that they should be given equal right to education and living with the other students, said the parents.
“This is the common phenomenon in residential schools. At one school, the students made to live in demarcated sections labelled ‘poor students from tribal community’,” said Jairam Kamdi, a social worker from Shahapur.
“We have received complaints from the parents, and the additional tribal commissioner has been asked to inquire into the complaint and submit the report by next week,” said an official from the tribal development department.