Nuagaon: While crores of Rupees are reportedly being spent on renovation work of schools under the 5T High School Transformation Programme to attract the students to the classrooms, the ground reality at some of those renovated schools draws quite the contrast to the tall claims of the government. The move is being criticised of lacking thought for the students while being merely a self-promoting gimmick fulfilling the interest of handful of individuals.
Students of Nuagaon High School and Anchalika Uchha Vidyalaya at Dimirijhari under this block in Nayagarh district are two such examples. The schools have been transformed under the programme but the students are found studying under staircase and at the cycle stands. The Nuagaon High School is a premier educational institution in the block. However, students in this school study on the verandah and under the staircase due to lack of classrooms.
Similarly, the students of Class-VIII of Anchalika Uchha Vidyalaya at Dimirijhari under Badagotha panchayat were found studying under a cycle shed for the same reason. Sub-Collector Lagnajit Rout said that the Nuagaon Block Development Officer (BDO) has been directed to provide funds for construction of additional classrooms after Bijay Kumar Sasmal, president of managing committee of Nuagaon High School, filed a complaint citing the issue at a recent public hearing camp of the district Collector. The governments at the Centre and state are providing free uniforms, text books and midday meals to attract the students to the schools.
The state government has gone two steps ahead by providing a better environment for study in the school premises and upgrading the classrooms to smart classrooms. As part of this move, the state government is providing Rs 35 lakh to the schools identified for transformation under the 5T scheme. The panchayats have also been asked to sanction additional funds if need be. The sanctioned fund is meant for renovation of the schools, construction of library rooms, two smart classrooms and construction of a science laboratory at each of the selected schools.
The state government has directed for transformation of the schools without taking into account whether these schools have necessary or surplus classrooms. Some of the existing classrooms are being upgraded into smart classrooms, libraries and labs, which in turn reduces the number of rooms allotted for classroom teaching. As a result, students in one school study under the staircase while in another, at the cycle stand. When contacted, Basant Kumar Nayak, additional district education officer (ADEO) of Nayagarh district said steps are being taken for construction of additional classrooms.