Students here study with umbrellas unfurled

It’s been raining cats and dogs in Hassan district like other parts of Karnataka and Jahnavi S.N. of class 10 carries an umbrella to school.

The surprising thing is she takes it not just to school, but also into her classroom.

Reason: She will not be safe from the incessant rain even inside her classroom, with its leaking roof, at the government school at Mallipatna, a hobli headquarter in Arkalgud taluk.

The students here have to attend classes with umbrellas unfurled to avoid rain falling on them and their books.

This is one of the few schools in Hassan district which recorded cent per cent result in the SSLC examination this year.

The school, established in 1962, moved to a new building in 1978. At present 168 students study here from classes 8 to 10 in both the Kannada and the English mediums.

Among the eight classrooms, only three are in a good state, where classes can be conducted.

“We have merged students of both the English and the Kannada mediums so that they can be seated in one classroom. We are making use of three classrooms and locked up three other leaky rooms,” said M.P. Shivaprakash, headmaster of the school.

It has been raining for the past 40 days in Mallipatna, part of Malenadu area in the district.

“The building is quite old. Last year, the Hassan Zilla Panchayat provided Rs. 2 lakh and the amount was utilised to put up sheets over two classrooms, where leakage has been avoided,” said S.P. Revanna, ZP member.

Another Rs. 2 lakh was released only before the State Assembly elections. However, it could not be spent as the poll code was in place. “We have been demanding funds to improve schools. How can we expect parents to send their children to schools with leaky classrooms?” asked Mr. Revanna.

“Often our textbooks and clothes get soaked. I wish the government takes note of our problem and sanctions a new building,” said Ms. Jahnavi. “Students of both Kannada and English medium are made to sit together due to a shortage of proper classrooms. Teachers have to teach students of both languages a time. Our school has always maintained a good result. The government should give attention towards improving the infrastructure,” said Dhruva M.P., another Class 10 student.

“We have submitted a list of buildings, where repairs are necessary. For the high school at Mallipatna Rs. 2 lakh has been released for repairs. The work will start soon”, said S. Manjunath, Deputy Director of Public Instructions.

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