A year on, schools await funds to reconstruct unsafe classrooms

  • Deepa Sharma Sood, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: May 05, 2015 10:54 IST

Even a year after being declared unsafe for students, around 70 classrooms in 15 different schools of the district are yet to be constructed anew, with schools having no funds, causing other classrooms to be filled beyond their capacities.

It's a mad rush at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Miller Ganj. Each classroom is crammed with 60 students.

The education department has restricted the number of students to less than 40. But this school has no option; 13 classrooms of its subordinate school, the Government Middle School, were declared unsafe by the public works department and students had to be shifted to the seniors' building.

"If we make 40 students to sit in one class, then the others will have to sit in the open. But in this scorching heat we can't do that," said a teacher, who didn't want to be named. She said the crowded classrooms are a nightmare when the electricity goes off and the fans stop working.

The school has been running in double shifts now to accommodate all classes. Principal Barjinder Kaur told HT that she asked the education department for funds to construct new classrooms, but no money came.

The situation is no different in other schools. The Government Senior Secondary School, Theerke, is also running in double shifts since July last year. Its subordinate Government Primary School's building was declared unsafe and 500 students were shifted to the senior secondary school, which already has a roll of 520 students.

The Hindustan Times spoke to officials at the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) office only to know that no funds have been granted still. RMSA is a centrally-sponsored scheme of the Union ministry of human resource development for development of secondary education in public schools.

"We have yet to receive grants from the head office for this purpose," said district education officer, secondary, Paramjit Kaur Chahal.

Despite repeated attempts, director general school education, Punjab, Pradeep Aggarwal, did not respond to calls.

Mi-day meal

The Model Senior Secondary School at Miller Ganj on Monday received orders from the district education officer, elementary, Gurjot Singh to start mid-day meal scheme at the earliest. An amount of `82,000 has been transferred to the school to bear the cooking costs and pay salary of cooks. However, the school has no kitchen, and received no grant for constructing it either.

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