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School or death trap for students?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 Oct 2015 12:00 AM GMT

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Oct 30: "We live in deeds, not years." - Philip James Bailey.

Athgaon Chabipool LP School, founded in 1958, is probably one of the few schools in the city that have completed 50 years of their existence. However, the upkeep of the school smacks of the wrong treatment meted out to it over the past 50 years.

The school, located beside the Bharalu river in the Rehabari area in the city, has no boundary wall along the riverside which looks like a veritable death trap, staring the over 50 students of the school in their faces.

Earlier the school had a fence along the riverside. However, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration removed the fence around a year back so as to erect a boundary wall. However, the work of the boundary wall of the school has since been in the doldrums, which is quite typical of Dispur's way of functioning. The boundary wall of the school is still to see light of the day. The poles supplied by the district administration have since been lying in the school compound.

Accident cannot be ruled out. The Sentinel witnessed children playing in the field just a few metres from the Bharalu. During the monsoons, the waters of the Bharalu submerges the school compound.

Aside from the risk factor, the school with 66 students and six classes has only 4 teachers - and of them one is busy in NRC work, and another is differently-abled. Since the headmaster is supposed to mage various works of the school, the school is literally taught by a teacher.

Apart from this, the school has no drinking water facilities. The only tube well in the compound has high iron contamition, making it unfit for human consumption. The school authorities have to bring drinking water from elsewhere.

This is not all! As though to cap it all, the school is a den of anti-social elements in the evening and late night. A section of alcoholics and gamblers use the school for their antisocial activities.

Talking to The Sentinel, the headmaster of the school, Haridhan Kotoky said: "Before I took charge, the situation was worse. The school was used as a stable. I had to fight with the people and stopped it. However, there is no cooperation from the administration. The stink from the Bharalu is a serious threat to the students and the teachers as well."

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