Jamshedpur, Feb. 21: As thousands across the state sat for their matriculation examination this morning, it was nothing short of a nightmare for 300 students of SS High School, Gamharia, as they wrote the first crucial test of their life on the floor.
The students were not only cramped in hundreds on the floor of each classroom, they had to keep answer sheets on each other’s back to write the exam. Some of the students were seen piling up next to piles of shoes and slippers, while others flocked to one corner like cattle.
Each of the five rooms had 72 and more students sitting on the floor, as against a capacity of not more than 40.
“With existing infrastructure, we can only accommodate 350 students but today over 650 answered the paper from our school. How do we arrange for seating arrangement for all'” lamented D.N. Singh, the headmaster of SS High School.
There was no arrangement for toilets or proper drinking water. The school was the examination centre for students of Kutchai High School in Seraikela and Kharsawan, about 40 km from Gamharia. Students had to travel all the way to reach the spot.
“Our repeated requests to the Gamharia block office have been turned down and the government does not give us funds for transportation of furniture,” rued Singh.
The only consolation was that the girls were spared the ordeal as they were assigned a classroom with benches.
“It was painful to sit in the same position for three hours as we did not have space to stretch our legs or even get out to drink water as the rooms were absolutely packed,” said Ajay Hembrom, a private candidate at the centre.
Just as The Telegraph reached the spot, Madan Mohan Singh, officer in-charge of Gamharia police station, was seen screaming at the headmaster and school authorities threatening to take severe action for the “apathy” towards the students.
Officials at the block office were as promising as the other. “If they had informed us earlier, we would have surely done something, but now it is too late. If anything has to be done, it can only be from tomorrow,” said a senior official at the block office.