Students of Khepupara High School in Kalapara upazila under Patuakhali district have to attend classes in such risky rooms. Photo: STAR
Most of the 1,700 students of Khepupara High School in Kalapara upazila town have to attend their classes in a dilapidated building.
Set up in 1930 at Kalapara on the bank of Andharmanik River, the institution was later upgraded as a 'high English school'. In 1960-61, authorities built a one-story building that still serves as the main building of the school.
But it has become highly risky due to lack of renovation. Chunks of plaster fall off the roof and walls, sometimes hurting teachers and students during classes.
Damage in the pillars makes the building vulnerable to collapse anytime.
Three small buildings were made later but their accommodation is too limited and most of around 1,700 students studying in classes VI to X have to attend classes in the main building.
"Often we look at the roof and walls instead of the teacher and books as chunks of plasters fall off. Our dress and books and khatas become dirty as sand often falls from the roof," said Siam, a student of class eight.
Md Shahadat Hossain, headmaster of the school, said, "Despite the serious risk, we have to conduct classes at the building as there is no alternative."
"We could not do necessary renovation work due to lack of fund. We sent several letters to the higher authorities including the Directorate General of Education and the Ministry of Education, demanding steps in this regard," he said.
KM Rafiqul Islam, project director of Secondary and Higher Education, last year sent a letter, informing that the school was brought under the Model School Project and infrastructural development would be done soon. But no step is yet in sight," he added.
Md Mahbubur Rahman, upazila education officer, said, "A problem arose regarding construction of the school building under the Model School Project. I hope that the problem would be over very soon and then the work for constructing a new building will start."