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With no roof, toilets; every day is a battle for students of this govt school in Ludhiana

The school was established in 1929 and was running in double shifts as the number of students was 900. However, the number has now come down to only 39.

punjab Updated: Aug 21, 2017 11:53 IST
Deepa Sharma Sood
Deepa Sharma Sood
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Govt school,Punjab,Ludhiana
Students attending their class in the open at Government Primary School Field Ganj in Ludhiana on Saturday.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

For over 22 years, students of Government Primary School, Field Ganj, Ludhiana have been braving the summer, monsoon and winter without a roof over their head. Students have to sit under a plastic sheet supported by bamboo sticks to take their lessons.

Moreover, the school does not have benches so students sit on floor mats. Neither does the school have proper drinking water facilities or toilets. The conditions in the school are not fit for students to study in.

But the authorities can’t do anything about it. This is because the case relating to school’s land is in court and no new construction can take place till the matter is sub judice.

“The matter of the school land is subjudice, as some locals claim that they own the land, though it belongs to the government. We can’t build any classrooms or toilets in the school as the matter is in the court. The department is aware that the school staff faces problems in running the school,” said deputy DEO (elementary) Dimpal Madaan.

Currently, there are 39 students of Classes 1 to 5 studying in this school. There are four teachers out of which only one is regular. The others include an education provider, a Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan teacher and one special training resource volunteer.

A damaged part of the school (Gurminder Singh/HT)

The school was established in 1929 and was running in double shifts as the number of students was 900. The school had the highest strength among 35 schools in the block earlier, but now the strength is declining as parents say that there are no facilities in the school. Last year, the school had 83 students while now it has come down to 39.

When the HT Team visited the school on Saturday, it was found that the school does not have an entrance gate or a proper boundary wall, leaving it open for anyone to enter the school premises. The team also observed that the school has no drinking water facilities due to which the midday meal cooks have to get water from nearby houses to prepare the meals. Moreover, there is no proper kitchen to prepare the midday meal.

The school does not have a proper place to prepare midday meals. (Gurminder Singh/HT)

A teacher requesting anonymity, said, “The children sit quietly be it the scorching heat or the biting cold but we know how difficult it is for them to brave these extreme conditions without proper facilities. Moreover, since there is no proper toilet in the school, students have no choice but to relieve themselves in the open.”

Sources confirmed that the school has received grants worth Rs 40 lakh in the last few years, but these were sent back as a court case regarding its land is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Sarabjit Singh, a parent, said, “The state government is spending crores on the functioning of meritorious schools in the state then why are they not doing anything to solve this matter in the court? If we want to uplift the level of primary education, then we need to provide at least the basic facilities to students. Students of this school are sitting on floor be it any season.”

Violation of RTE Act

According to the RTE Act, each school must have at least one classroom per teacher, separate toilets for boys and girls, drinking water facility, a kitchen where midday day meals are cooked, barrier-free access for disabled children and office-cum-store for the head teacher.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 11:49 IST