No place to study
The construction of a school building in Tangail's Basail upazila has not been completed in three years, hampering the education of the school's children.
As a result, classes are being taken at small rented shops for over one and a half years.
The contractor and the authorities blamed the price hike of construction materials and the shortage of necessary funds for the delay.
According to Directorate of Education and Engineering, Tk 66 lakh were estimated for the construction of a one-storey building for Dumnibari High School in Kawaljani union at the end of 2019.
Kazi Traders, a construction firm, received the tender and was supposed to complete the work by October 2020.
However, the construction work started on May 2021 and stopped again within a couple of months after the structure's base was built. The firm has not resumed construction work since then.
Meanwhile, 240 students of Dumnibari High School only had two tin-roof structures where they attended their classes. When the construction started, one of the old tin-roof structures was demolished.
After that, two small shops in the market adjacent to the school were rented for conducting classes of fourth and fifth-grade students.
Several students said they face various problems attending classes there as the rooms are just beside a road.
Rimi Akter, a seventh grader, said most of the time students cannot even concentrate because of the noise.
"Moreover, the rooms are so small that we feel hot and suffocated," she added.
Samia Akhter Setu, a ninth grader, said, "Around 40 students have to study in each of the small rooms. This is not a classroom environment."
Shariful Islam, the school's headteacher, said, "I have requested the authorities on several occasions to complete the building's construction as quickly as possible but to no avail."
Contacted, Kazi Sumon, the building's contractor, said, "We are going bankrupt due to increasing prices of all construction materials. Itis difficult to work on previous rates."
"Moreover, the department did not pay our bills yet, saying they have no money," he added.
Contacted, Mohammad Shahriar, assistant engineer of the Department of Education and Engineering in Tangail, admitted to the allegations made by the contractor.
High officials have visited the site recently and spoke to the contractor, said Shahriar.
"We have requested the contractor to complete the work and also assured them that the bills will be paid immediately after receiving the fund," he added.