Erosion of Teesta, Dharla: Classes of 11 pry schools resume in makeshift buildings
Classes of 11 government primary schools in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat are being conducted in makeshift buildings after permanent buildings of the schools were washed away recently by the Teesta and Dharla rivers.
Teachers of the schools said since the temporary structures lack most basic amenities for an educational institution, it has been difficult for them to offer classes there, while their students have been facing difficulties in paying attention during classes.
According to primary education offices in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat, teachers of the schools with the help of locals built the 11 makeshift structures with the hope to resume educational activities in the affected areas.
Saiful Islam is in fifth grade at one such school -- West Haldibari Government Primary School in Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat. He said his school had to be closed due to the coronavirus last year when he was in fourth grade.
When the school reopened, about 18 months later, he was excited to see his classmates again. But all his excitement was replaced by frustration, as he found out that his beautiful school building, made of coloured tin sheets, was lost to the river.
Saiful said he later came to learn that the hastily-made tin and bamboo structure, with the national flag hoisted in its front, is their new school building. "It breaks my heart to think that our beautiful school building was washed away by the Teesta. Now I can't pay attention to studies in the new school building."
Shahinur Islam, acting head teacher of the school, said they were able to save some of the furniture of the school before parts of the school building collapsed into the Teesta about a month ago.
They made the temporary tin structure to carry out activities of the school for the time being, until a permanent building for the school is constructed, the teacher added.
Abul Hossain, teacher of Poshchim Bajra Government Primary School in Kurigram's Ulipur upazila, shared a similar story with this correspondent.
Carrying out educational activities and offering classes in such a tin-roofed house, built on private land, are not convenient for anyone, he also said.
Contacted, Lalmonirhat District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) Golam Nabi said they already wrote to the higher authorities concerned, seeking allocation of funds for rebuilding the school buildings, and until then, educational activities at the affected schools have to be conducted in the temporary buildings.
Shahidul Islam, the DPEO in Kurigram, said work was underway to allocate land for reconstruction of buildings for the affected schools and they directed the school authorities to continue activities at the temporary locations.
He also hoped that necessary government funds will be allocated in this regard within this year.