Students of nine government primary schools in four of six Jhenidah’s upazilas are facing trouble attending classes as school buildings were declared abandoned three years ago.
The schools are Bagutia government primary school under Sadar upazila, Dakatia primary school, Sheba Shangho primary school, Purba Rangierpota primary school, Arpara primary school, Jargram-Rautail primary school, Pruba-Basantapur primary school under Shailakupa upazila, Neamotpur primary school under Kaliganj upazila and Sarutia primary school under Kotchandpur upazila of the district.
Classes in these schools are being held in the open and in makeshift huts. The students are compelled to attend classes regardless of harsh sun or wet weather.
Teachers said the number of students in these schools is decreasing because guardians are admitting their children to other schools. If this goes on, there will be no students in the affected schools next year.
Jhenidah District Primary Education Office sources said after the collapse of Rana Plaza an inquiry team consisting of officials of LGED and the Education Office visited different schools in the district. At the time they declared the nine school buildings abandoned. They were served notice not to take classes in the risky buildings.
Visiting Dakatia government primary school, this correspondent found that the classes of Class III are being held on the school ground, and classes of Classes IV and V are being held in a makeshift hut.
Headmistress Momtaj Khatun said the school was established in 1974. A building consisting of four rooms was built in 1994/95 financial year. They held classes in that building until the enquiry team declared it abandoned on May, 12, 2013. Two years ago, the headmistress erected a makeshift structure consisting of three rooms, but it has already become dilapidated.
She added that there were 154 students in 2013, 108 in 2014 and only 87 in 2015. There is no sitting capacity in the school. She said children will not take admission next year if a building is not built soon.
Headmaster Ruhuzzel Hossain of Sarutia government primary school under Kotchandpur upazila said the school was established in 1970 and a building was built in 1994-95 financial year. The students have been facing many problems since it was declared abandoned in 2013. Locals erected a tin shed, but it is already broken.
The UNOs of the upazilas concerned said they have submitted a letter to the authorities, and they expect new buildings will be sanctioned soon.
Md Ataur Rahman, district primary education officer of Jhenidah, said it will take some time to sanction the new buildings.