Deputy commissioner (DC) Kamal Kishor Yadav on Wednesday ordered the district education officer (DEO) to allow Government Primary School, Radio Colony, functioning for a month and monitor students’ strength and its overall working.
Earlier on Wednesday, the DC has sought the inquiry report from the DEO on reasons behind closing the school.
After knocking the doors of the local education officials’, the parents, students and representatives of Purvanchal Jankalyan Mahasabha and Government Teacher Union, Punjab on Wednesday met the DC and submitted a memorandum, requesting him not to close the school as they fear about their children’s future.
The DC said, “DEO has informed me that the director general of school education had passed the order to close the school due to scanty attendance. However, after checking the reports, we will resolve the problem amicably.”
Arguably, the closure order came following an inspection report submitted by a circle education officer, wherein he had pointed out depleting presence of students, most of whom belong to daily wagers’ families.
The fear is still lurking among the parents and their wards over the possible shutdown, with the district education authorities holding their ground tightly, even as their decision was based on “the wrong report filed by the circle education officer”.
“I will talk to the director general school education (DGSE) and principal secretary, education, if the report filed by the CEO and DEO is found wrong. The DEO also informed me that one of the reasons of the closure is very few classrooms. We will also build the classrooms if needed,” the DC added.
Meanwhile, the school authorities have been informed by the education department to close the school, leaving the students in the lurch, while three staff were told to shift to other schools.
Hardwari Lal, chairman of the mahasabha, said the number of students was falsely reported to 13, while 74 students are studying in the school.
“It was ‘kanjak pooja’ on the day when the team had come for the inspection. That is why they found only few students over there, but they hardly took the pain of checking the records and returned from the school,” he added. But today (on Wednesday), despite bad weather and rain, 51 students, out of the total 74, were present at the school, while on the first day (Tuesday) 46 students were present.
Established in 1964, the school is mainly attended by students of economic weaker section.
The school was shifted to its current location inside a park in the colony in 1982 from where it has been running since.
The parents said if the school was closed, they would be left with no option but to make their children sit at home, as they could not afford to send them Abadpura, Model Town or Ladowali Road.
Chikodi Ram, who earns living by ironing clothes who has made taught two generations in the same school said,” My grandchildren are studying here and my son and daughter also studied in the same school. The people in the locality have a problem. The people over here didn’t like the fact that the students of down trodden people are studying in the school. They just want to make the school closed situated in the park”.
Members of the Purvanchal Jankalyan Mahasabha, however, said the problem was with the people residing in nearby areas, who did not want the school to continue inside the park.
Chanderkali, who earns her livelihood by selling corns on the street, said, “My son Vishnuprasad studies in Class 5. It will be difficult for us to send our children to other school as we don’t have time to drop him at his school.”
According to sources, the circle education officer had “sent someone else to check the strength of the school, who reported wrongly”.
When contacted, circle education officer Hukam Chand said he did not want to comment on the issue. He asked the reporter to contact the district education officer (elementary).