Sehore, Madhya Pradesh: Built before 1930, a crumbling school structure lies neglected in Sehore district in Madhya Pradesh.
For the 329 students studying at Tagore Middle School, there are no benches and the students attend the class sitting on floors underneath leaking roofs. The district education department passes off this basic need saying it has provision for the same, but no funds.
With leaking roofs, no benches or toilets, the school needs an urgent renovation
Sonu Rathod, a class 8 student said, “The school building is dilapidated. I am scared as the water leaks from the roof in the classrooms and I fear that the school building may collapse any day.”
The school headmaster admits to the problems but claims helplessness.
School Headmaster Ramgopal Sen told NDTV, “We get just Rs 10,000 annually for the maintenance of the school and Rs 7000 for other school activities. The money is not enough as our school is big. We have to pay Rs 10,000 for electricity annually. I have raised the issues with the Public Works Department and also the education department repeatedly but nothing has happened so far.”
No Toilets In The School
A year ago, the boys toilet near the playground area was vandalized and it has not been repaired since then.
The girls are forced to use the open area near the boundary wall as a toilet as their toilet is kept locked.
Shumaila, a student, said, “The new toilet is locked we are not allowed to use it. The new toilet is for teachers.”
There are no benches and the students attend the class sitting on floors underneath leaking roofs
District Education Department Unaware
Despite regular inspection by the officials, the district education department says it’s unaware of the school’s condition.
CB Tiwary, District Project Coordinator told NDTV, “So far, the headmaster has not told me about any of problems in the school. We will order Public Works Department to repair the school building. As far as the toilets are concerned, there is no special provision of toilets for the teachers. We have seen in the footage that the headmaster is keeping the toilet locked. We will take disciplinary action against him.”
The headmaster says that he has raised the issue with the education department several times while the district project coordinator says he is ignorant about the issue
Madhya Pradesh has a network of over 1 lakh 22 thousand government schools and as per the 2011 census report, around 5 lakh children dropped out of the school at different levels in the state. While the state has several schemes to encourage children to go to school, the neglect by the education department towards students’ elementary needs is turning them away from the knowledge centre.
Image credit- NDTV