UNICEF’s make shift school, Panna, Madhya Pradesh, February 2, 2006 - We drove eight kilometers on the dry barren land to be at Devipura. It is here in the vast landscape stands a make shift school in UNICEF’s tent. Pranlal, who may be ten years old is one of the student (He does not remember his age, many of the students would say eight or ten as their age). He is visually challenged but studies and stays in this school. He likes it, and says it is the best. Education department had titled them as Shiksha Ghar or residential schools. UNICEF had provided these tents as a part of rehabilitation support to Panna district after it had been ravaged by floods in July of year 2005. UNICEF had provided forty four tents to education department for temporary schools for children which had been extensively damaged by floods. Presently they are more than a school. They are now residential seasonal hostel’s for children. It was all not that easy to set up these. Team members of Rajya Shiksha Kendra of Government of Madhya Pradesh had actually brought part of these tents on themselves to Devipura. People here say they did not have a school for years but this temporary school has given them more than that. Children not only study here, they eat here as well stay in the same tent. District administration has organized for their meals. It is not only in Devipura but also at other places where these tents have been converted as hostels. It has being a good start, but still drinking water and improving teaching quality and support District administration for construction of schools still remain as some challenges which one has to overcome to help them to return to their life.
- contributed by anil gulati