A government primary school in Tangail’s Sakhipur upazila, having nearly 300 students, is running at a rented tin-shed structure for the last four months.
In January this year, the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) visited Koiyamadhu Government Primary School at Boheratoli and found its 25-year-old one-storey building on the verge of collapse.
It has cracks on the walls and roof while bamboos were placed to prevent the roof from falling.
UNO Aminur Rahman declared the building abandoned immediately to protect the students from any untoward incident, but the danger still prevails as the classes are now being held at a nearby rented tin-shed structure.
The students are taking classes in two small rooms inside the rented structure which used to be a shop.
School authorities are paying the owner Tk 1,000 as monthly rent.
“A government school cannot run inside a rented structure. We are worried about the students’ safety. This structure is not strong enough to survive storms,” Aminur Rahman said.
“I have talked to the officials of the ministry concerned over phone several times and requested them to construct a new building as soon as possible. But I do not know when that will happen,” he added.
Headmaster of the school Saiful Islam said academic activities of the school, established in 1972, was being greatly hampered due to shortage of space.
Sakhipur Upazila Education Officer Manobendra Das said, “The building was declared abandoned due to its rickety state. We have already written to the education ministry seeking a new building.
“The letter addressing the secretary was sent via the UNO in February. Two days later, in a letter, the ministry informed us that it had allocated Tk 3 lakh for construction of a temporary tin-shed structure, but we are yet to receive the money.”
The fund might be released by June, the officer added.
Meanwhile, the students and teachers of Ghuni Gazamati Government Primary School in Nagarpur upazila are in a similar situation.
There are 157 students in the school located at Sohobotpur village. The building is in shambles.
Rods are visible on the ceiling, pillars, and walls as plasters have fallen off most of the places. Water leaks though the ceiling; many doors and windows are also broken.
Authorities, however, have not declared the building abandoned yet.
Md Mofiz Uddin, headmaster of the school, said, three students got hurt when plaster fell on them last month. Since then, attendance had been thin.
The students and staffers are suffering more now as summer had arrived and ceiling fans could not be installed, he added.
“We have not taken any step because no direction has come from the authorities concerned yet. We have requested them to declare the building abandoned and make temporary arrangements,” Mofiz told this paper.
Asaduzzaman Chowdhury, assistant education officer in Nagarpur, said the school’s name was among 14 buildings identified as “risky” in the upazila.
“Necessary measures will be taken as soon as possible, upon discussion with the higher authorities,” he told this paper.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Syed Fayezul Islam said that tenders process was on. Construction of the new building was expected to start in two-and-a-half months, said the UNO.
“I have asked the school’s management committee to construct a tin-shed structure to carry out the academic activities for now. Some financial aid will be provided by the upazila parishad in this regard,” he added.