Students sitting in the open, broken benches, demolished rooms and dilapidated blackboards - welcome to Government Senior Secondary School, Ladowal, recently upgraded from higher to senior secondary level by the state government. Situated 12km from Ludhiana, the school is a picture of utter neglect with only six classrooms to accommodate over 670 students.
Seven classrooms were declared unsafe by the public works department (PWD) in October 2015 as a result of which a large number of students are forced to attend their classes in the open, under trees and in the school corridor. Moreover, the condition of existing classrooms is no better with chipped floors, inadequate lighting and broken furniture dumped in them.
At present, students of Classes 7, 9 and 11 are made to sit in the open and in school corridors. Two sections of Class 8 are accommodated in one hall. Whereas, students of Class 6, the rest of the sections of Class 8 and Class 10 occupy the six ‘safe’ classrooms. Under these dismal circumstances, anyone can guess how the students must be fairing academically.A student of Class 9 said, “It is very difficult to study in the open in this hot weather and whenever it rains, we are made to sit in the corridor without a fan. We have been sitting in the open since October last year. With winters approaching, the situation is expected to get worse.”
A teacher, requesting anonymity, said, “Seven classrooms were declared unsafe by the PWD in October last year. After receiving directions from higher authorities to demolish the unsafe classrooms, in May 2016 our staff contributed money and hired labourers to demolish them. The government has not sent even a single penny for the construction of new classrooms to date. Due to shortage of classrooms, we have to accommodate around 70 students in one class.
School principal Zareena said, “I joined the school last month and will try to make every possible effort to improve the present situation. I have called a carpenter to repair the benches. The higher authorities are already aware of the entire matter and we are waiting for the funds.”
Paramjit Kaur Chahal, district education officer, secondary, said, “The requirements have been sent to the Centre for funds, but we are yet to receive grants for the construction of new classrooms.