Angul: Due to administrative inertia and lack of will power, Odisha government’s ambitious programme, ‘Mo School’ has hit a roadblock in Angul district. The district has 1,660 schools. Of them, 248 are high schools, 848 are primary and the rest 564 are upper primary institutions.
The district is home to a number of big companies like Nalco, NTPC and MCL. Many of the top officers of these companies are alumni of schools in the district. Similarly, one of the present Union Ministers is from Angul district while it is the Parliament constituency of an MP and Assembly constituencies for five MLAs. There are administrative officials at various levels who could have easily implemented the ‘Mo School’ programme.
However, except for District Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain, none of the people who matter have taken any initiative to implement the ‘Mo School’ programme.
The advantages of the programme are that if someone adopts a school, he will have to be personally involved with it and ensure its development in the quality of education, students’ facilities and other infrastructure. The improvement will have to be at level with those found in private educational institutions. Government officials feel that if the bar is raised more and more parents would want to enroll their wards in government-run schools.
However, in spite of repeated requests from the Odisha government, no one has come forward to adopt any of the state-run schools in this district.
Chhendipada MLA Susant Kumar Behera however, said that he plans to adopt a school. “I have decided to adopt the school where I studied,” Behera said. “The Assembly session begins February 18. Then all the MLAs of Angul district will meet and decide on how to take the ‘Mo School’ programme forward,” he added.
District Collector Swain informed that he has decided to adopt a school which suffers from funds crunch. “I will adopt a poor school very soon. My efforts will be to give it better infrastructure and environment,” Swain said. “However the focus is not on a single school. Our efforts are on to improve the quality of education in all the state-run schools in the district,” he added.
Srikant Mishra, an educationist, is hopeful of better days ahead. “So far not a single school has been adopted. But that does not mean we give up hope. I am sure in the future many persons will come forward to adopt schools,” he asserted.
Similarly, Surya Narayan Nath, an Angul town resident, opined that schools in remote areas need care and attention.