Concern over dilapidated school building at Vilathikulam

Parents, activists appeal to the government to demolish it at once

A century-old primary school building, which has 491 students on roll, is in dilapidated condition in Thoothukudi district.

Apprehending that it may collapse anytime, parents and activists have appealed to the district administration to take note of the school’s condition and order its demolition.

Submitting a memorandum to the School Education Department and the Collector, parents, who were signatories to the petition, said on Sunday that the institution, one of the oldest in the district, was started in 1906. Teaching in both Tamil and English medium, the school had one HM and nine teachers. Located opposite to Vilathikulam bus stand, the Panchayat Union Primary School had 323 students in 2019-20 and 386 students in 2016-17.

According to the parents, following the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, many of them could not pay fees for their wards in private and matriculation schools. Hence, they admitted their children in the government school. While there were 15 teachers in the school, six opted for transfer through the counselling process.

With rise in student strength, the number of teachers had to be increased. Also, there were two sections in each class from Class 1-5 and the administration should create additional sections. they said.

Also, the school did not have a sanitary worker. In the interest of the children and to ensure a hygienic environment, some teachers and a few parents contributed money and engaged conservancy workers.

The district administration should direct the School Education Department to appoint sanitary workers under the Pudu Vaazhvu scheme. Also, the compound wall on the northern side of the premises had been allegedly encroached.

A CPI(M) functionary P Pooviraj, who spearheads awareness programmes in the locality, and a few activists said the Collector should immediately direct the PWD to carry out on-the-spot inspection and order demolition wherever it was required.

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