Saturday, March 26, 2011

Govt funds non-existent schools in Assam


Guwahati: The election campaign in Assam is gathering momentum with politicians battling more for votes and less for issues. But education seems far from their agenda.
Government schools in Assam are in shambles. And an RTI filed by a student has revealed shocking revelations.
The BR Ambedkar School in Guwahati, which has apparently received Rs 4,01,450 for its 217 students - actually does not exist.
There is money trickling in for schools which exist only on paper and not in reality. For example, one such school is the Dr BR Ambedkar school in Lachitpur. You can see the list of students and the money that has been procured in their name. But go around Lachitpur and you will find no trace of this school.
The Mangal Chandi Hindi LP School is another example. The headmaster says that funds for the dalits were instead going to a school - which had ceased to exist since 1991. In 2009-10, this non-existent school received Rs 2,94,150.
Headmaster NP Singh said, "This school does not exist, I don't know who these children are. This signature is also fake and this headmaster doesn't exist."
When we confronted the Department of Welfare for SCs and STs, which sanctions these funds, they blame it on shortage of manpower, but promise to investigate.
None of the senior officials we tried to contact were available for comment. All saying they were busy with election preparations. They may not speak to us, but they definitely owe an explanation to the people of Assam, especially the children, who's future is under threat.


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