Lack of classrooms force students to study in ‘open air schools’
Students in basic education department schools here are forced to study in the open, even during the rainy season, due to lack of classrooms in rented buildings or because there is no building at all and the school is run on the street. The teachers postpone teaching during rain to avoid health risk to students.
According to official sources at the BSA office, there are about four schools running in the open, where there are no classrooms and students can be spotted studying under the sky. These schools include Primary and Junior Boys’ School in Jagdishpura in Naraini Building, a school in Radha Nagar in Balkeshwar, another in Gobar Chowki locality and one in Nagla Padi. Gayatri Singh, head teacher in Jagdishpura school said, “There are 123 students in my school, but no classrooms in the school and it is running in the open.”
“This year, I managed to install a tin shed for the students, but yesterday it fell down due to wind and rain. Now there is no arrangement for the students and they will have to sit in the open,” she said. Another teacher Alka Paliwal said, “When it rained today, I asked students to stand in shade and stopped teaching for sometime. I cannot play with the health of innocent students. If they fall ill, who will be responsible?” “There are 85 students in my school and all study in the open, as the school runs on the street. There is only a toilet on the premises and in summer we sit under the shade of a tree,” Alka shared.
Similar is the condition of schools in Radha Nagar, Gobar Chowki and Nagla Padi where teachers are forced to teach under the sky. A teacher in Radha Nagar school said, “It is difficult to teach during rainy season, as there is water logging and mosquito menace. The school is just like a play ground with no covered area.” District secretary of United Teachers Association (UTA) said, “There are four schools running in the open or in rented buildings. The owners of the buildings do not want to renew the agreement due to which there cannot be any renovation. This is forcing teachers to teach in the open,”.
“We have raised this issue before the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) and other senior officials but nothing has been done,” he said. Basic Shikha Adhikari (BSA) Agra, Omkar Singh, was not available for comment.