Students, guardians stage road blockade over school merger in Odisha’s Nayagarh
Sources said the resentment was triggered after the school at Adipada was merged with the one at Rakama in compliance with the State government's policy
Nayagarh: Vehicular movement was disrupted and commuters faced a harrowing time after a students along with their guardians blocked State Highway 48 protesting merger of the local school in Odisha’s Nayagarh district here today. The agitators, who are from Adipada village under Rakama panchayat within Fatehgarh police limits of the district, blocked the Fategarh-Kantilo route as a mark of protest.
Sources said the resentment was triggered after the school at Adipada was merged with the one at Rakama in compliance with the State government’s policy. The School and Mass Education department guidelines mandate schools with low enrollment to be consolidated with nearby ones. As a result, the school at Adipada had been merged with the school in Rakama. But this had not gone down well with the local residents.
“The school merger has posed a lot of difficulty. Our children have to commute long distance and their safety is at risk. We have approached the District Education Officer, Block Education Officer, SP and even the Collector many times but our grievances are yet to be addressed. This agitation was our last resort,” said one of the protestors Kanhu Charan Sahu.
“If education for all is being facilitated by providing study material, free school uniform and mid-day meals, how can a school be completely shut down? What will happen to the future of over 25 students who were studying there? Our children already lost two precious years due to the lockdown. And now this? We appealed to the administration so many times but none paid heed. This strike will go on until our demands are met,” said another parent Pujarani Mohapatra.
As per reports, the protestors have warned of an indefinite strike until their issues are addressed with immediate effect. Till reports last came in, the agitation was ongoing. None from the administration was available for comment.