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This British-era girl school in Punjab is in a shambles

Nearly 1,000 girl students have enrolled themselves at the school which is being run in two shifts due to lack of infrastructure

punjab Updated: Dec 15, 2017 14:17 IST
Avtar Singh
Avtar Singh
Hindustan Times, Malerkotla
Punjab news,British era school,malerkotla
Many classrooms in the congested building have been declared unsafe.(HT Photo)

The British-era Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Malerkotla, where students from eight villages around the Muslim-dominated Malerkotla town of Punjab come to study is in a dilapidated condition.

The situation is such that the public works department (PWD) has declared four of the 27 rooms in the building as unsafe and it is going to add as many rooms on the list soon. Also, the school does not have a playground.

The building of the school, opened in 1935 by the British, was constructed in 1885. Nearly 1,000 girl students have enrolled themselves at the school which is being run in two shifts due to lack of infrastructure.

In the winter, girl accommodated in the second shift reach home after 6pm when it’s already dark and foggy. Besides, there is no adequate transportation and incidents of eve-teasing are frequent.

School principal Harjinder Singh said they have written to the state government several times and demanded to shift the school but to no avail.

Those studying in Classes 11 and 12 attend their classes from 12 noon to 4:20pm.

“It is difficult to manage time. We have to wait for buses for long. Sometimes roadways bus drivers refuse to pick us. And when we reach home we have to help in domestic chores. Thus, we hardly get any time for study,” said Sandeep Kaur, a Class 12 (commerce) student.

Some girls said they are subjected to harassment and they feel unsafe on the roads in the late evening.

“We do not feel safe on the roads. Moreover, we don’t get time for tuitions,” said Maninder Kaur from Mehdevi village.

“The Congress in its election manifesto promised free education for girls. It is high time that this school be shifted to a spacious area in the city,” said Democratic Teachers’ Front district president Balbir Chand Longowal.

“I visited the school and students are facing problem. I will look into the matter,” said district education officer (secondary) Harkanwaljit Kaur.

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 20:42 IST