Education minister to look into case of student sweepers
A day after MiD DAY published a report on students being forced to sweep floors at their school in Badlapur ('Students forced to sweep floors before class'), School Education Minister Rajendra Darda has assured parents that an enquiry would be carried out.
On July 26, this newspaper had shown how students at Kulgaon Badlapur Municipal School were made to clean the premises. Darda told MiD DAY that he was going to investigate the issue and find out the reason why the school did not have a sweeper for cleaning purposes. “Most of the time, the fund that is provided is used by the corporators for different aspects in education. It is sad to hear that students are being made to sweep the floor and it is the responsibility of the area’s corporator to ensure that such incidents are reported and action is taken. I will investigate the situation of municipal schools in Badlapur.”
However, despite the outrage over students sweeping floors, the children at the school continued their schedule and arrived at school an hour early to sweep and swab the premises yesterday. “We went early and swept the floors as usual. No teacher asked us to stop the work and we are too afraid to say no to our teachers,” said a student. Another student added that a teacher had asked them what they told this reporter. “We told her that we answered her honestly.”
The parents of the students also complained about the school authorities. “As parents, we know that our kids are being forced to sweep the floors. But, we are poor and helpless. Not only are our kids forced to do this work but also not provided with good food. The children always complain of the food that is served to them,” said a parent on condition of anonymity.