Raipur. Against all odds, the schools of Konta block in one of the worst Maoist-affected Sukma districts of Chhattisgarh have reopened after a long wait of over 15 years.
On the special initiative of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh Government made efforts to reopen schools in Naxal-affected areas and has proven to be a great success. The local administration has taken up the initiative of reopening schools with the help of villagers to connect extremely sensitive areas to the mainstream through education.
These 123 schools were shut in the development block 15 years back, amid surge in Naxal activities. This includes 100 primary schools, 22 middle schools and 1 high school. Maoists have demolished school buildings in the interiors to prevent the security forces from taking cover. Now, the district administration has constructed huts with the help of villagers for running these schools. They have made provision for the construction of temporary shelters for each school.
Besides this the local administration are making constant efforts to ensure that there is no shortage of educational facilities for all such children who were deprived of education for more than 15 years. Meanwhile, the administration has started work on construction of ‘pucca’ school buildings to ensure smooth functioning of these schools.
The revival of schools has opened doors to a bright future for kids here. As the Maoist violence has waned, schools are being run again successfully in the sensitive areas of Chintalnar and Jagargunda. There is great enthusiasm among students to attend school after a long wait.
The local educated unemployed youth were offered teaching jobs. They were trained to educate children. The district administration has appointed a total of 97 youth as ‘Shiksha Doots’ (teachers) at the Panchayat level and given them an honorarium of Rs 11 thousand per month. These youth have identified more than 4000 school dropouts so far.
After the reopening of High School Chintalnar in the academic session 2021-22, now the children here do not have to wander anywhere. The Higher Secondary School, Middle School, Girls/Boys Hostel of Jagargunda—a highly sensitive and worst Maoist-affected village of this area—which was being operated in Dornapal in the past years, are now being operated in Jagargunda itself with all facilities. Similarly, the educational and residential institutions of village Bheji, Kistaram, Gollapalli, and Samsatti, which were being operated in Konta, Maraiguda, and Dornapal headquarter, are now being operated in their native villages with full facilities.