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Headmaster, 4 teachers of Odisha school for tribal students suspended

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Sep 7:

Five teachers, including the headmaster of the Mudulipada residential school for scheduled tribe  and scheduled caste students at Bondaghati in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, were suspended on Sunday, three days after 160 students,  belonging to the Bonda tribe, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), left the school accusing its authorities of mismanagement and misbehaviour.

The District Welfare Officer (DWO) Santosh Kumar Rath said the school’s  headmaster Bholanath Majhi, assistant teachers S K Mahanta, N K Jena, H K Sahu, and N Muduli were placed under suspension with immediate effect after an inquiry into the matter. Rath is also in-charge of Bonda Development Project (BDP).

The Malkangiri collector D Prashant Kumar Reddy had ordered an inquiry into the incident after the matter was reported in the media.

Senior district officials including the project administrator of Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA), Ramakrushna Ganda and DWO had visited the school at Mudulipada on Saturday and conducted an inquiry.

Ganda said the team submitted its report on the basis of which action was taken against the teachers for negligence and they were also issued show cause notices.

“Officials during their visit to the area persuaded the parents of some students of the school and ensured 60 of them return to the school. Four teams have been formed to get the rest 100  students back to the schoo. The teams would visit the Bondaghati area and speak to their parents and persuade them to send the pupils back, said the DWO Santosh Kumar Rath.

A senior teacher of the residential school has been asked to officiate as the headmaster after five of the nine teachers in the school were suspended, Rath said,  adding, steps are being taken to fill the vacancies.

The students of the Mudulipada residential school had accused the headmaster and some teachers of gross indifference and negligence, which had seriously affected their studies.

The students had earlier told media persons that every time they complained about the problems they were facing, they were threatened by the headmaster, who asked them to either keep quiet or leave the school.