• Friday, Nov 16, 2018
  • Last Update : 09:51 pm

School with only 13 students applies for nationalization

  • Published at 04:22 pm January 30th, 2018
School with only 13 students applies for nationalization
Boshiuk Registered Primary School is situated near Moulvibazar's Sreemangal's Satgaon rubber garden. There are only 13 students enrolled, but the attendance sheet claims 95. The register sheet shows that there are four teachers. Various complaints of irregularities and corruption have been found against this school. There are allegations against the school of collecting a huge amount of money in the name of nationalization. An investigation revealed that the school was established near Satgaon Rubber Garden in 1968 for the children of workers. When there was a crisis in the rubber sector in 1987, the rubber garden was closed down by the government. Now, only five families live on the plantation. In 2011, there was an initiative to restart the school by taking bribes from teachers. Due to various irregularities and shortage of students, the school was never nationalized. Allegations are rife that the school took huge amounts of money from the teachers and falsified documents in the name of nationalization. But the school’s teachers have denied these allegations. Meanwhile, Abdus Sobhan, vice president of the rubber garden's labor organization, filed a complaint with the Sreemangal Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) on January 18 against the school. In the complaint, he said there were only around 10 students in the school and there was little chance of new students being enrolled. He also said the school was collecting money in the name of nationalization and urged immediate action to stop the misuse of state funds. A visit to the school to verify the allegations revealed the only indicator of the school was a signboard on nearby residential building. Three kids were seen playing near the building. When asked where the schoolchildren were, they said they had gone for lunch. At around 11 in the morning, a woman named Ruzina Akhter came to the school premises and introduced herself as a teacher. She said that there were 95 students and four teachers in the school. “Headmistress Lumbiniy Roy will be coming in late today because her child is ill. Also, one of the teachers is on maternity leave,” Ruzina said. To verify Ruzina's claims, the government's public free textbook distribution list was checked to see whether there were any students claiming books from this school. There were pictures of three students, but no photographs or signatures of anyone else in the register. When asked to see the register, teachers said to take the matter up with the headmistress. An investigation of the daily attendance register revealed that no attendance was recorded after January 27. The reporter called Lumbini Roy, who initially said she was in school but later admitted she would be coming in late. She claimed there were 50 children in attendance at the school. Nishi Ranjan Deb, chairman of the school's managing committee, told reporters he does not know how many students there are. Ashrafuzzaman, manager of the rubber garden, said the school stopped being the garden's responsibility when it was first shut down. When asked about the school, upazila Primary Education Officer Saiful Islam Talukdar said: “The school’s name was dropped during the second stage of nationalization because it did not meet the criteria.” He continued: “We inspect schools dropped from nationalization regularly. The school was found shut during an earlier inspection in 2015. The last time it was inspected, we found only 14 students.”