The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education on Monday gave a directive to the district primary education officers to identify the risky buildings of government primary schools across the country. Unsurprisingly, the ministry leapt into action only after the death of a nine-year-old school girl in Barguna’s Taltali Upazila and a high court verdict regarding compensating the girl’s family and repairing rundown school buildings.
As is the case in our part of the world, it takes a tragedy to create something good out of it. However, better late than never and in that sense the ministry’s steps are welcome.It is a matter of grave concern that thousands of students in classes housed in mostly old government primary schools across the country live with the fear of roof collapse. Many of these school buildings are too rundown to survive even a mild tremor. Earlier we reported that while some of the schools are being run in the rickety buildings, risking the lives of students, teachers and staff members alike, some other schools decided to move out in the open, and have been holding classes under the open sky for months.
It is understandable that both the students and teachers are panic-stricken and they are unwilling to attend classes in classrooms needing repairs. But it is quite disturbing to hold classes under the open sky due to scorching heat or sudden rain. On the other hand, those who are still using dilapidated buildings are in great danger.
So, no matter where the classes are being held – out in the field or inside the classroom – students of these schools with dilapidated buildings are stuck in another kind of death trap. Imagine how their helpless families feel after sending them to these schools. The families must also be in helpless condition. They can only pray so that noting unpleasant happens.
Carelessness must not cause death of any more students. As the relevant ministry should repair or reconstruct the dilapidated school buildings without any delay. Moreover, proper maintenance of the school buildings at regular intervals should also be made a mandatory.