Padma, Jamuna destroyed schools but not spirit
MANIKGANJ, Sept 13: Hundreds of students of government primary schools in three upazilas of the district are attending classes in makeshift rooms after their educational institutions were devoured by the Padma and Jamuna rivers.
Ten primary schools in Daulatpur, Shibalaya and Harirampur upazilas were destroyed by the river. Of them, seven were in Daulatpur, two in Shibalaya and one in Harirampur.
With the school buildings gone, classes are being held at houses, local bazars and other establishments.
Daulatpur Upazila Education Officer Moazzem Hossain said seven government primary schools were washed away and 19 schools were partially damaged when Jamuna burst its banks.
Ten other schools are at the risk of erosion.
The schools devoured by the rivers are - No 58 Charkatari Dakterpara Government Primary School, No 45 Charkatari Government Primary School, No 64 Charkatari Government Primary School, No 51 Muslimnagar Government Primary School, No 11 Abudanga Government Primary School, No 1 Dakkhin Baghutia Government Primary School, No 95 Char Gobindapur Rahiz Mollapara Government Primary School.
Besides, three tin-shed schools, vulnerable to erosion, were shifted to Nagarpur upazila char in Tangail district recently.
Of the 79 schools in Shibalaya two - Madhyanagar Government Primary School, and Char Alokdia Government Primary School - were washed away by Jamuna.
Katrik Chandra Sarkar, acting headmaster of Madhyanagar Government Primary School, said Jamuna destroyed the tin-shed school building before the monsoon.
"We've constructed two thatched houses at a local bazar and continuing classes," he said.
A two-storey building and two tin-shed rooms of Char Alokdia Primary Government School were destroyed by the river in July.
Since then, classes are being held for 110 students of the school at a nearby madrasa, said Matiur Rahman, the schools' headmaster.
But similar situation forced many students to skip classes. After Harirampur upazila's Syednagar Government Primary School was devoured by Padma on August 27, classes were being held at a local madrasa.
"About half of the students now attend classes," said Riasad Ali, the headmaster, adding that the many of his students chose to study at home.
Jalal Uddin, Harirampur Upazila Education Officer, said buildings of four other were vulnerable to erosion. "The fate of 500 students of these schools will become uncertain if the local administration doesn't take any steps," he said.
Nilufa Rahman, District Education Officer, said they have informed the higher-ups about the situation. "We'll take necessary steps after getting fund," she said
Manikganj Deputy Commissioner SM Ferdous said the Water Development Board has been informed.
"For now, classes are being held in makeshift rooms. The authorities concerned have been asked to find land for constructing new buildings. The process to acquire land from the locals is going on," he said.
Mahbubey Maula Mohammad Mehedi Hasan, executive engineer of Manikganj Water Development Board, said: "Geobags are placed along the banks of Padma and Jamuna to prevent erosion.
"The government has taken a project to stop erosion in future and the authorities concerned will take effective measures." -UNB