Only 4 months ago the new building of Abu Yusuf Ali Mollah Girls’ High School was inaugurated in Mirzaganj Upazila of Patuakhali. However, within just 4 months, cracks have appeared on the new building, built at a cost of Tk 2.18 crore.
When it rains a little, water starts leaking from the roofs of different rooms of the building that has been built as a cyclone centre too. In this situation, local people including the school authorities fear a major accident at any time.
The Abu Yusuf Ali Mollah Girls' High School was established in 1999 with the aim of improving the quality of education of the people of Chaita village in the remote area of Madhabkhali union under Mizaganj upazila and some other villages of the adjoining Barekganj upazila.
However, within four months of the inauguration of the school building, built under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, cracks appeared on various parts. Moss has accumulated on the inside of the classroom due to leaking of rainwater.
The headmaster of the school said that some minimal repair work has been done on the school building at the initiative of the project Implementation Officer’s office based on the complaint lodged by the headmaster.
According to school sources, the construction work of Abu Yusuf Ali Mollah Girls’ High School Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter started in Fiscal Year 2018-19 and ended in January 2021 under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
Shortly after the inauguration of the school on May 23 this year, cracks appeared in various parts of the building. So, the teachers are teaching a large number of students amid a panicky situation.
Abu Yusuf Ali Mollah Girls' High School’s headmaster Md Motahar Uddin Gazi said, “The building was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on May 23 this year through video conference. Then we were handed over the school building.”
The building was opened for students on September 12. The teachers, staff and students were happy to get the new building at first. However, as the work of the building is of poor quality, it needed repair work after a while. Even after the repair work, the roof of the building still leaked at different parts. Panic is spreading among everyone in this issue, he added.
According to the Upazila Project Implementation Officer’s (PIO) Office, the Abu Yusuf Ali Mollah Girls’ High School cum Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter was constructed in the 2018-19 fiscal year under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
The construction of the two-storey building with 8 rooms and 2 attics was allocated at Tk 2 crore 18 lakh 47 thousand. It was implemented by a contractor named Messrs. Khan Enterprise of Barguna’s Betagir area.
Visiting in person, it was seen that there are big cracks in different parts of the front right side wall of the building, the lining of the stairs to the second floor has been worn out, there are cracks in the head teacher's room, corridor, classroom walls and the plaster is also falling off. The roof of some of the classrooms was leaking water and the color of the inside of the building was ruined with algae growth.
The students of the school said, “We were happy to get the new building but due to poor quality work, water fell inside the classroom through the roof even after a little rain. This makes it difficult for us to sit for classes. We are also scared that the building might collapse at anytime.”
The owner of the contractor agency Messrs. Khan Enterprise, Khalilur Rahman said, “Another contractor worked on the project with my license. I have talked to the PIO about this. I don't know much of it.” Sub-contractor for the school work Md Mamun said, he will quickly repair the cracks of the school building.
Upazila Project Implementation Officer (PIO) Rafiqul Islam said, “There is nothing to fear about the cracks on the school building. Such cracks may occur due to lack of good curing during construction. I will visit the spot and inform the higher authorities and arrangements will be made to repair the building.”