Tura, November 10, 2017: A 106 year school in Okkapara in South West Garo Hills has been lying in tatters for more than 5 years now. The Okkapara LP School was established in 1911 and is one of the oldest schools in the region. The school, which does not even have a roof over its head has drawn the anger of local residents. The matter has even been brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of the District but there has not yet been any initiative to repair the school.
“Given its status as one of the oldest schools in the region, there should have been special stress to ensure it is properly maintained. This is a shame to not only the school administration and the government but to every resident of Garo Hills. How can we have children studying in these kind of circumstances,” said Achik Youth Council member, Maxbirth G Momin.
An NGO who had visited this place earlier, sent a letter to the DC of SWGH, CVD Diengdoh two months earlier, regarding the pathetic conditions of the school hoping that action would be taken. The DC then forwarded the matter the to the education department for a look in. However, even till today, there has been no attempt to repair the school.
“The students are currently using the Angandwadi centre and the Community Hall of the village to continue their studies. This already shows their dedication to education. Unfortunately it seems they are the only one serious about their education. The school is bare and has no roof. How do you expect our children to study there,” added another AYC member, Silning D Sangma.
A school in Bolbokgre in WGH, which was in a similar kind of condition is now being repaired after pressure from the NGO led to the sanctioning of money for the repair.
“Is the education department blind, or just daft? How are they not able to see the state of the schools and report to concerned authorities? This just shows their laziness and how much the education department works for the bettering of education in Garo Hills. This negligence is criminal and they should be taken to task. Their inaction is leading to schools going without basic infrastructure,” added another social activist, Avinash Marak after a visit to the school earlier.
The deputy commissioner of SWGH however could not be reached on the matter, till the filing of this report.