Classes held on balcony as grain takes up space at school

Bihar lawmaker accused of storing grain and potatoes says classrooms to be vacated soon

Patna: Classes at a government school in Bihar have been disrupted for weeks after a ruling party lawmaker converted classrooms into storehouses for grain and potatoes.

The primary school located at Kamargama village which falls under Tarapur assembly constituency in Munger district was built to provide education for poor children, who could not afford enrolling at leading private schools.

Around Rs20 million (Dh1 million) was spent on its construction.

However, villagers said the construction of the school building was yet to provide help to the children since most of its classrooms have been locked and converted into storerooms by a Janata Dal United (JD-U) lawmaker Mewalal Chaudhary.

At present, four of school’s five classrooms are locked.

“The lawmaker has locked the classrooms after storing grain and potatoes there. He has been using the schoolrooms as his personal storerooms. Nobody has the guts to question him; such is his power,” a local villager told the media, while asking not to be named.

He said the purpose of opening the school stands defeated as most of its rooms have been taken up by the lawmaker.

“I never came across any such politician in India who has grabbed a teaching centre for children with so impunity. It is really strange,” he said.

The situation has forced pupils to move to the school balcony and take lessons there, while sitting on the ground.

“We are facing a lot of trouble in teaching students but what can we do. We are helpless since the matter involves a ruling party lawmaker,” said a schoolteacher pleading anonymity.

The lawmaker said the school’s rooms would be vacated soon.

“Someone stored grains there without informing me, but I will have it removed very soon,” the lawmaker, who represents Tarapur seat in Bihar assembly, told journalists on Wednesday.

Teaching in government schools remains a matter of serious concern in Bihar as is evident from the poor results in the examinations.

Last year, 70 per cent of students failed the Class 12 examinations.

Out of more than 1.2 million students who had appeared in the class 12 examination conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board, 794,622 failed to clear the test.

The students from the science stream saw only 30.11 per cent clearing test.

As per an official report, a total of 646,231 students had appeared in the science examination of which 449,280 failed.

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