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Cycles In, Students Out In Tehatta Schools

2015-09-26 06:30

Cycles stacked inside a classroom in Tehatta High School. Picture by Saurav Bhattacharjee


Tehatta (Nadia), Sept. 24: Many schools in Nadia’s Tehatta sub division have been compelled to suspend regular classes of class ten and higher secondary sections as the class rooms have been turned into workshop to assemble bi-bicycles for distribution among the students.

For nearly last two months students of X, XI and XII of Tehatta high school, Betai High School, Kutipara Rural High School and many others schools in the Tehatta sub divisions have been suffering seriously due to absence of regular classes as their class rooms are being used by the mechanics of a multi-national cycle manufacturing company to assemble around 20000 bicycles.

School authorities have been compelled to accommodate the assembling units at the cost of the classrooms as the scheme was conceived by chief minister Mamata Banerjee as a mega students’ welfare scheme. 

On May this year the chief minister announced that the state government would distribute 40-lakh bicycles among the students from class 8 to 12.

In Nadia the process of distribution have started from Tehatta where around 20000 bibicycles are being assembled at present at different schools for distribution among students of class X, Xi and XII after Durga Puja.

While unwanted opportunities of owning new bicycles have made the students happy, it has at the same time made them anxious due to suspension of classes before their test examination.

“Classes have literally come to a halt since the first week of August when bicycles supplied to our school. In first two weeks no classes were held, after which final batch students of Class XI and X were asked to attend classes in alternative weeks. Later two rooms were arranged where classes being held jointly with the students XI making a chaotic situation. As a result, most of the students have refrained from attending school”, said a class XII student of Tehatta high school.

Mitali Roy, mother of a student of class XI of the school said: “There was literally no classes held during the past two months. Some joints classes were held with students of XII, but that was not at all helpful”

In Tehatta high school 1290 bicycles have occupied three classrooms of the school. Bicycles have also been kept on the open school ground. bicycles allotted for the Tehatta Girls’ school have also been assembled there.

In Betai High school around 1200 bicycles being assembled occupying three classrooms. The scene is same in Kutipara Rural High school too where around 1400 bicycles are being assembled for distribution.

Manik Ghosh, head master of Tehatta high school, refuted to acknowledge that classes were hampered.

“Assembly bicycles have become a problem definitely. But, we carefully provided class rooms of class X, XI and XII whose students appearing test examinations. The students appearing in the test do not generally attend classes ahead of their examination. However, those attended we arranged combined classes for class X with IX and XII with XI”

Head master of Betai High school Subal Chandra Ghosh said: “No class students suffered as we made alternative arrangements for them”.

However, a class ten student of the school said: “It was the school authorities which practically discouraged the students to attend the school”.

District inspector of schools of Nadia, Mitali Dutta refused to comment on the issue.

However, an officer of the education department in Calcutta has blamed the school authorities. He said: “The head masters were clearly instructed to arrange the assembling unit if possible at their schools without hampering classes”.

District magistrate Nadia Vijay Bharti said: “I categorically instructed the block development officers to set up assembling units at government owned stores. I am shocked to learn that the classes were hampered for assembling bicycles in class rooms. I also told them not to keep bicycles in schools as it could be stolen or damaged I will inquire why the instruction was not executed”.

Tehatta-I block development officer Jahangir Mullick said: “There was no big store room available in my block. This block has been allotted 6500 bicycles whereas the government store could only accommodate 2500 bicycles”.

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