Saturday, December 09, 2006

Singur students under pressure

The Statesman News Service

The attendance of students in the primary schools of Singur has gone down in the past four months because of the farmers’ movement against land acquisition. A district primary school board official said the students in the five affected villages were unable to concentrate on their studies. “They’re under psychological pressure,” said Mr Khitish Patra, chairman, district primary school board.

More than 2,000 students go to 17 primary schools in the villages. Sontu Kolay studies in Class III of Bajemelia Uttar Primary School. His mother, Ms Sabitri Kolay, an active member of the Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee (Agricultural Land Protection), told The Statesman: “My son fared badly in his examinations last month. I can’t blame him as there’s no one to take care of his studies. We’re busy with our meetings and too poor to be able to afford private tutors.”

Another member, Ms Jharna Langal, of Bajemelia, said: “Despite being a meritorious student, my daughter, Hoimonti, failed in her half-yearly tests this year as we’d been negligent. She’s scared as the government has decided to strip us of our livelihood”

Ms Protima Dey, of Bajemelia, cannot recall the last time her son, Subhadeep, went to school.

The Integrated Children Development Scheme too has suffered. Only a few nursery students show up at the ICDS centres in the affected villages, said an official.

Mr Patra said: “The situation in Singur has created the psychological pressure on students, harming their studies.”

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