Chennai: With CSR funding, the Corporation Primary and High School in Kallikuppam at Ambattur has undergone colossal changes and is now expecting 100 additional students in the upcoming academic year, with canvassing work having started few weeks ago.
The institution has smart classrooms, toilet facility, RO drinking water, spoken English training for students and a private company has provided staff for teaching computer science for the past one year. While the primary wing’s strength stands at around 240, the number of strength in classes six to nine is 200.
Residents state there are more than 20 private institutions in the vicinity and that improving the standards would bring in more children from the lower income group families who are found in abundance.
It may be noted that the school, that offers education in both English and Tamil medium, was upgraded to high school a few months ago and the teachers are hoping to admit students for grade 10 from 2019-2020.
While the facilities have brought hope among the employees to increase the total strength, they also raise concern over the lack of key infrastructural facilities like classrooms, library, playground and a science lab.
Pointing to the needs, Ramalingam, a resident of West Balaji Nagar, who regularly seeks support from people to help the institution, said, “Although there are restrooms provided, the total count has to be increased. Boys are still forced to urinate in open place due to inadequate facility.”
For a high school, there are only seven rooms and it is accommodating students of both mediums in the same place impacting the quality of education offered, claim staff.
It is learnt that the school has written to the officials seeking three additional rooms and are unsure if they would be provided before the commencement of the next academic year.
Ramalingam stated that the place becomes a haven for tipplers when the school does not function during the weekends as the compound wall is just 2.5 metre high.
“There are also other works happening, unrelated to the school, within the campus and I do not know if they are legally permitted,” he stated.
He further said about the confusion persisting in taking custody of it. “Officials from Tiruvallur Collectorate say that it belongs to Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), while the officials from GCC point their fingers towards the former. This problem has hampered the school’s growth,” he added.
Calls made to government officials for seeking clarification elicited no response. However, the one at Kallikuppam is not alone. Another Corporation institution in Central Chennai also requires attention. While the infrastructural facilities are in place to an extent, all is not well. According to sources, the school receives metrowater monthly twice and faces severe water crisis.
“We are depending on alternate sources and have asked the students to close the faucets to avoid spillage of the resource,” source said.
Commenting about the education system, activist Jagadheeswaran said, “Toilets are a major problem in State-owned institutions; there are schools that get CSR funding to upgrade facilities but fail to take care. Tamilnadu government spends a lot for education, but they must invest generously for providing infrastructure and maintain it.”
“With support from not-for-profit firms and donors, the State schools have witnessed a rise in number of students seeking admission but has a long way to go,” Jagadheeswaran stated.