JORABAT, June 17 - In this technology-dominated world, while most private schools have headed towards adopting Smart Classes, a government-run school at Jorabat is still lacking a basic facility like electricity.
The Adarsh Rashtra Bhasha Hindi LP School at 11th Mile, Jorabat, under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Assam, has been functioning without electricity for long, even during extreme weather conditions. Students read textbooks in dimly-lit classrooms as the power supply to this school had been disconnected about eight years ago owing to unpaid bills.
Established in 1973 and provincialised in 1982, the 44-year-old government school owes the State power board APDCL an amount of Rs 22,494 (in a bill dated 22/12/2009), which has been pending for the last eight years now, local residents said. The school committee has failed to clear the outstanding dues and hence the power supply was stopped.
The issue came into the notice of Jorabat AASU executive committee while conducting a meeting recently in the school premises in darkness.
Headmaster of the school Ramesh Pandey said the electricity connection was disconnected as the school committee failed to pay the outstanding dues. The power connection was established in 2004 and monthly bills used to be paid for a while as well, but due to insufficient funds the committee failed to pay it regularly. The outstanding amount grew higher as the committee was totally unaware of the fact that the electricity connection of the old school building was still working even though the school was shifted to the new building, where electricity connection was yet to be set.
By the time the issue came to his notice, the amount to be paid by the school authority was already a huge one. When he contacted the APDCL on the issue, they said the entire outstanding amount must be cleared first before a new connection is set, he added.
In the midst of all this, the students, all hailing from poor economic background, have become the worst sufferers. Such issues are also one of the reasons why people now tend to say a big �no� to government schools.
Raju Sharma, general secretary of the 11th Mile committee of AASU, wondered as to how can a school function without electricity as it becomes very difficult for the teachers and the students alike to read and write in dim light, with hot weather conditions making the matters worse. He said he would take up the issue to the authority concerned soon.