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Raw deal to students of 5-decade-old school

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 26 � In other times it would have been odd, but in the backdrop of Right to Education, it is appalling. In the heart of Guwahati, students from three, or at times four classes, get educated inside a single room of Harijan Buniyadi Vidyalay, Ulubari.

Thanks to space constraints, students from several classes up to the third standard have to share a room with the most basic of teaching equipment. �You can imagine what kind of learning can take place in such a situation,� a teacher remarked.

All the students come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds, and it is not surprising that the authorities concerned have been unable to address their needs. The students have been sharing the room with the most basic of amenities for a long time now, and this year the mid-day meal scheme too has been highly erratic.

The situation appears bizarre as the school is more than five decades old. Established in 1954 with support of eminent personalities such as the late Amolprova Das, its present condition is not unknown to the officials of elementary education. They have been told about the difficulties faced by students due to lack of classrooms.

When contacted, the headmaster, Aftabuddin Ahmed, said that he feels guilty when he thinks of the students. �We wish we had more space so that students could have a better learning experience,� he said, and revealed that the school could also do with one more teacher.

Students who come to the school are all from economically weak families, it would have been so much better if their school environment could be improved. This is the only opportunity of learning they have, he mentioned.

Unfortunately for the school, its infrastructure is inadequate and maintenance and repairs have been a challenge with meager funds being made available each year. Around Rs10,000 is all that it gets to cover all its costs to maintain infrastructure and carry out repairs. The result: damp and leaking walls, worn out furniture, and no access to potable water.

�We get water from that there�, a little child said, pointing to a hand pump. He would not know that it dispensed water with high iron content.

Another worry for the school is the presence of electricity cables, which cross over the school campus. A live wire coming in contact with the ground below will threaten the lives of innocent school children, a concern shared by people of the locality as well.

Students of the school have also been unable to really benefit from the mid-day meal plan. When asked, the headmaster disclosed that the scheme has not been implemented well in the school because of reasons beyond his control. Supply of commodity and release of funds have been irregular, he acknowledged.

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Raw deal to students of 5-decade-old school

GUWAHATI, Oct 26 � In other times it would have been odd, but in the backdrop of Right to Education, it is appalling. In the heart of Guwahati, students from three, or at times four classes, get educated inside a single room of Harijan Buniyadi Vidyalay, Ulubari.

Thanks to space constraints, students from several classes up to the third standard have to share a room with the most basic of teaching equipment. �You can imagine what kind of learning can take place in such a situation,� a teacher remarked.

All the students come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds, and it is not surprising that the authorities concerned have been unable to address their needs. The students have been sharing the room with the most basic of amenities for a long time now, and this year the mid-day meal scheme too has been highly erratic.

The situation appears bizarre as the school is more than five decades old. Established in 1954 with support of eminent personalities such as the late Amolprova Das, its present condition is not unknown to the officials of elementary education. They have been told about the difficulties faced by students due to lack of classrooms.

When contacted, the headmaster, Aftabuddin Ahmed, said that he feels guilty when he thinks of the students. �We wish we had more space so that students could have a better learning experience,� he said, and revealed that the school could also do with one more teacher.

Students who come to the school are all from economically weak families, it would have been so much better if their school environment could be improved. This is the only opportunity of learning they have, he mentioned.

Unfortunately for the school, its infrastructure is inadequate and maintenance and repairs have been a challenge with meager funds being made available each year. Around Rs10,000 is all that it gets to cover all its costs to maintain infrastructure and carry out repairs. The result: damp and leaking walls, worn out furniture, and no access to potable water.

�We get water from that there�, a little child said, pointing to a hand pump. He would not know that it dispensed water with high iron content.

Another worry for the school is the presence of electricity cables, which cross over the school campus. A live wire coming in contact with the ground below will threaten the lives of innocent school children, a concern shared by people of the locality as well.

Students of the school have also been unable to really benefit from the mid-day meal plan. When asked, the headmaster disclosed that the scheme has not been implemented well in the school because of reasons beyond his control. Supply of commodity and release of funds have been irregular, he acknowledged.