In its quest to make some extra bucks, a Patuakhali school has set a bizarre example, sacrificing its playground to cultivate rice.
Aman seedlings have been planted last week on the playground, equivalent to approximately two football fields, of Sehakathi High School, some five kilometres from Patuakhali town, and will be fit for harvest in December.
On restoring the playground afterwards, the school's Headmaster Md Alamgir Hossain plans on letting his 564 students start playing on the field so that they can “stomp on it and level the earth”.
Locals say that the playground hosts many yearly sporting events participated by children of adjacent areas and speculate that the farming venture would generate around Tk 15,000.
The headmaster confirmed The Daily Star yesterday that the non-government school does not have fund constraints while it receives monthly pay order (MPO) facilities, meaning that the teachers and employees get cent percent basic salaries and other benefits from the government.
He assured that there would be no bar to the students' sound mental and physical development since it has another playground, albeit a bit smaller, approximately resembling half a football field, some 200 feet away from the institution's premises.
Patuakhali Education Officer Md Ruhul Amin Khan said he would inform the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education of the matter since having proper sporting facilities is one of the preconditions for being listed for MPO facilities.