Kendrapara, Jan. 10: Students of a government-run school, founded and named after Biju Patnaik, missed out classes today as chief minister Naveen Patnaik addressed a public meeting in their school playground.
It was an undeclared holiday for the students of Ramachandi Bijoyananda High School at Ramnagar village in Mahakalpada area. Over 400 boys and girls, who had turned up to attend classes, found the school closed in view of the chief minister’s programme.
The institute remained under police control during the event. “We were forced to suspend classes. Police were stationed on the premises. Holding class was not possible with such noise generating from the meeting. We were asked to vacate the school building,” said headmaster Subhash Ghadei.
“It is a violation of child rights under the Right to Education Act. Under the act, the building and premises of educational institutions can only be earmarked for academic purpose. Non-academic use of the schools infringes the law,” said child rights activist Binyak Swain.
There was disruption in teaching in yet another government-run primary school as the helipad for landing and takeoff of Naveen’s chopper was near the premises.
Kendrapara district collector Durga Prasad Behera, however, said he was unaware of the incident. “I am not aware of such misuse of school premises,” he said.
Kendrapara SP Sarthak Sadangi said: “I had instructed my subordinates not to use the school premises during academic hours.”
At the function, Naveen highlighted the achievement of his government in various spheres. He listed the measures being taken by his government for uplift of poor people.
In health, education, road communication sectors, the government has done a lot apart from bettering the lives of poor people. Empowering women also stays in the list of priorities of the state government, Naveen said.
Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, food and civil supplies minister Pratap Keshari Deb, Mahakalpada MLA Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Kendrapara MLA Sipra Mallick and Alekh Kumar Jena also spoke on the occasion.