The government primary school in Bir Sikhan Wala village of the district has been reportedly running from an unsafe building for many years. The over three-decade-old building has started leaking, with plaster from the roof of two rooms falling apart and walls having developed cracks.
The school has only three classrooms, but all of them are now unfit to hold classes, according to teachers in the school. "Two rooms of the school, which have lintel roofs, are in a very dangerous condition because the plaster is falling apart from their roofs. The beams, which are supporting them, have also developed cracks and whenever it rains, roofs start leaking," said a teacher.
"We find it very unsafe to hold classes inside the rooms, but we have no option. Even if when the rain stops, water continues leaking for many days. We are under constant fear that the building can collapse any time during the rainy season. During winter also, walls are always wet due to water seepage and humid weather," said another teacher in the school.
"Though one room has its roof supported by tiles and wooden logs, yet it starts leaking from all the places whenever it rains. Same is the condition of the fourth room, which is used as office," he said, wishing not to be named.
The government has failed to sanction any funds for the repair of the building, despite repeated requests by the school authorities over the past 3 years.
There are about 90 students studying in the five classes in the school.
"Now the government should provide funds for the construction of the entire building as the walls and the roofs are beyond repair. The building is quite old and walls can give way if the roof is stuffed with concrete and other material," said a parent of a student.
"Most of the children in the school belong to the economically backward classes and their parents cannot afford private schools for them. When it rains, we are always under the fear that a tragedy may happen any time," he said.
Another rainy season is approaching and nothing has been done to make the building safe so far, he added.
"We have sent our requirement for funds to the government and waiting for the grant. The schools, with unsafe buildings, are our priority and grants will be released as soon as we get the funds," said Parminder Singh Brar, district education officer (primary), Faridkot.
However, the authorities deny that the school building is unsafe. "It might be old and needs repairs only," they claimed.