It was a surprise visit that not only brought out the glitches in day-to-day functioning of a school but also the status of Adi Dravidar schools in general.
The Adi Dravidar Middle School at Palanjirai has eight classes right from first standard to eighth standard. But it has a total strength of just 34 students. However, they study in different classes and there is only one teacher to handle all classes.
Collector V. Arun Roy, who made a visit on Wednesday to study the functioning of the school, was taken by surprise to see the poor infrastructure. There was only one blackboard, which was used for all classes. There were no desk or benches.
M. Sharmila, who was present in the school, told the Collector that she had been taking classes for all students from first to eighth standards. She said that one teacher was on deputation and another teacher was yet to take charge. In the absence of others, she had to handle all classes and all subjects and was in charge of other functions of the school as well.
Three students were subjected for a small test by the Collector to test their mathematics knowledge. They were asked to solve simple multiplication and division sums. Except one, others failed to arrive at the right answers.
The noon-meal organiser was not present when he inspected the school. It was found out that only 23 eggs were prepared as against the present strength of 34 students in the school. He also checked the quality of “sambar” prepared for the students. Mr. Roy opined that the dish was not up to the standard as the quantity of vegetables in it was not adequate.
When asked about the preparation of less number of boiled eggs than the present strength, the cook, R. Rengammal, said that some of the students would not eat eggs as the village temple festival was about to start within a week. When the Collector asked whether it was recorded in the register, she said the noon-meal organiser had taken away the registers for audit. He made phone calls to the concerned officials to verify the records and asked the noon-meal organiser to meet him at the office with proper records.
Expressing surprise over the poor state of affairs of school and the quality of education, Mr. Roy said that the infrastructure of Adi Dravidar schools and teachers strength had to be improved. The student strength was also not up the mark. Attempts should have made to enrol more number of students. The problems and issues would have to be studied further. He would soon meet the concerned officials and corrective steps would be taken to improve the functioning of Adi Dravidar schools.