Gaon Connection Impact: District admn seeks report on Birsa Munda's heritage school; promises action

Gaon Connection's recent report on the sorry state of the Lutheran Middle School in Chaibasa where Jharkhand's hero Birsa Munda studied, has caught the attention of the West Singhbhum district administration. The Regional Education Officer visited the school and submitted his report including requirements of the school.

Manoj ChoudharyManoj Choudhary   17 Nov 2022 7:39 AM GMT

Gaon Connection Impact: District admn seeks report on Birsa Mundas heritage school; promises action

The district administration has promised to look into the matter and do what it can to repair and restore the Lutheran Middle School in Chaibasa, which should be a celebrated historical heritage space. Photos by Manoj Choudhary

Ranchi, Jharkhand

Two days back, on November 15, on the occasion of Jharkhand state's 22nd anniversary, Gaon Connection reported on the dismal state of the Lutheran Middle School in Chaibasa where the state's hero and freedom fighter Birsa Munda studied.

The report titled, The school in Jharkhand, where Birsa Munda studies, is today in dire straits, caught the attention of the West Singhbhum district administration, and the very next day on November 16, Abhay Shill, Regional Education Officer (REO) of the Kolhan division, visited the school, inspected the building, met the school staff and spoke to the students about the present state of affairs of the school.

The district administration has promised to look into the matter and do what it can to repair and restore the Lutheran Middle School in Chaibasa, which should be a celebrated historical heritage space.

Also Read: The school in Jharkhand, where Birsa Munda studied, is today in dire straits

Talking about his visit to the school, the REO said that on reading the report on the school in Gaon Connection, Ananya Mittal, the West Singhbhum deputy commissioner (DC) had directed him to submit a preliminary report on the present condition of the school, and a list of its requirements.

Birsa Munda's memory is preserved in an old hostel building from his time, which is now a youth centre.

"I have submitted a report after the school visit that has the information provided by the school administration on Wednesday (November 16)," Shill told Gaon Connection. He said the administration would study why there were less admissions into the school that is a prestigious academic heritage of Jharkhand.

"The DC will take administrative and policy related decisions on preserving the old hostel that is now a youth centre. The hostel has historical significance because that is where Birsa Munda stayed while he studied at the school. The point raised in the report about the teacher-vacancies and pending salaries of school staff, will also be discussed," Shill added.

The headmaster in-charge of the school, Esther Aind thanked Gaon Connection for drawing the attention of the district administration to the condition of the school.

"The school has put forth its basic requirements that include a computer room, more toilets, a settlement of pending salaries among other things," Aind told Gaon Connection.

An old photograph of the school in which Birsa Munda once studied.

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"Though the classroom, where Birsa Munda studied till 1888, was demolished in 2014 due to its dilapidated condition and that is gone, but the hostel can still be saved. We are hopeful that the district administration will take concrete action to preserve the historic hostel and develop the school into a model one," the headmaster in-charge added.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of Birsa Munda's birth anniversary, the school students took out a rally to pay homage to Birsa Munda on November 15 to mark 22nd year of Jharkhand's formation. Jharkhand, the 28th state of India was formed on November 15, 2000 after a long standing tribal movement for statehood. It was carved out of the state of Bihar.

"It is unfortunate that due attention was not paid to the heritage structure where Birsa Munda studied," Devki Kumari, Member of West Singhbhum Zila Parishad (district council), told Gaon Connection.

"I will raise the issue at the next meeting of zila parishad. Though all the public representatives' constituencies including legislators [MPs and MLAs] and zila parishad chairman, are reserved for tribals in West Singhbhum, Birsa Munda's academic structure, which was supposed to be the pride of the people, could not be preserved," Devki Kumari said. "I will request the district administration and zila parishad to identify such other heritages in the district and take action to safeguard them. Other heritage sites should not suffer the same fate as Birsa Munda's classroom," she added.

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