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Tura, November 10, 2017: In a clear indicator of the poor condition of the state of education in Garo Hills, a 106 year school in Okkapara in South West Garo Hills has been lying in tatters for more than 5 years now. The school, which does not even have a roof over its head has drawn the anger of local residents though there has been no action to initiate repair despite the matter being brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of the district. The Okkapara LP School was established in 1911 and is one of the oldest schools in the region.
"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.
The NGO had earlier after visit to the place, sent a letter to the DC of SWGH, CVD Diengdoh on the pathetic condition of the school about 2 months ago with hope that action would be taken to ensure repairs. The DC then forwarded the matter the to the education department for a look in. However as of date there has been no attempt to do anything for the betterment of 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 distress in 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.