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Karnataka: Fearing for students’ lives, parent seeks repair of government school building

March 9, 2023

Reshma Ravishanker

A parent from one of the government schools in Kolar has written a letter to the local authorities saying his cries over saving the lives of students studying in a dilapidated government school have fallen on deaf ears.

V Prakash who is also the president of the School Development Monitoring Committee has claimed that the school has been due for repairs for nearly seven years now and all calls for help have gone in vain.

The school in question here is the Government model higher primary school, Gandhinagar in Kolar where 117 students’ lives are at stake.

Speaking to EducationWorld, he said that two of his sons, one in class II and the other in class V are students at the school, which needs repairs.

“All I am asking for is the safety of children. Whose lapse it has been so far has to be brought to questioning by the department of school education and literacy and action must be initiated against them,” he said.

The parent said that the concrete roof of the school has been flaky, and the chips of the construction material have been dropping down quite often. Come monsoon and ground water seepage begins. Owing to this, the school had to remain shut the last season and classes were cancelled.

Prakash claimed that the Block Education Officer (BEO) was informed who said that Rs 2 akh funding was available for repairs. “I am seeking a thorough survey from the PWD. Though the BEO says there are funds, no PWD contractors are assigned the task,” he said.

Prakash said that students are now being forced to migrate to private schools, not because of the quality of teaching but because of this infrastructure lapse.

“Despite being a government employee who earns close to a lakh per month,  I as a parent have refused to enroll my children into private schools. It is not a question of affordability. I strongly believe that government schools have a better value-based education system,” he said adding that should the issue remain unresolved, he would lodge a private complaint against those at fault in the upcoming academic year for dereliction of duty.

Although classes are continuing the premises, the parent said that several classes were merged, to accommodate all students in a safer setup.

K Padmavathi, headmistress of the school said, “There are 11 rooms of which only 3 can be occupied. Recently, one of the roof’s chips almost dropped on a child’s head. We have been dreading the worst since then. The sanctioned 2 lakh is highly insufficient. We are seeking support from private trusts and NGOs in the matter. BEP and DDPI visited the school and noted the situation.”

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