Bhubaneswar, August 7 (LocalWire): Taking break from his hectic schedule, a lawmaker from Balangir district donned the mantle of a teacher as he paid a surprise visit to a school.
Children were visibly excited as Loisingha MLA, Mukesh Mahaling, visited the Kasturba Residential Ashram School in Liosingha and taught mathematics to class VIII students yesterday.
For 45-year-old Mahaling, an environmental scientist before he took the plunge in politics and emerged victorious in 2019 Assembly polls on a BJP ticket, it was a novel experience.
‘It’s like returning to one’s root. I quit the job of regional officer, state pollution control board and fought the elections with the sole motive of serving the people of my area.
I plan to visit all the villages under my constituency in my five-year-MLA stint to gauge the pulse of people, their problem and issues,’ he said.
‘I am laying focus on education, agriculture and health sector.
I have decided to visit all the schools in remotest corner of my constituency in an attempt to improve the academic standard of students,’ he told the LocalWire.
Seeing the surprise visitor in the classroom, children were initially nervous. However, later they found themselves at ease as Mahaling taught them mathematics and later lectured them on his favourite subject – environment – in a simple and uncomplicated manner.
He later provided them tips to solve mathematical solutions, said a teacher of the school, Binapani Rout.
‘I did not find majority of students academically good. But some of them have good grasping power. I asked the teachers to pay additional focus on students who were academically weak. I could gauge the practical problems that the inmates of the residential school were facing,’ he added.
‘The hostels accommodate 100 students though 132 students are lodged there. Drinking water facility was inadequate and I was shocked to find that the school has no functional toilet. The existing toilets had become dysfunctional,’ he rued.
‘My trip to the school has given me the much-needed exposure to the ground realities.
I have already taken up the matter with the school and mass education department and local block administration authorities.
I have asked them to look into the construction of a toilet with round-the-clock water provision. I have been assured of its completion by the first week of September.
I will revisit the school next month to gauge the living condition of inmates. After all, the children need good environs and infrastructure facilities.
Then only we could set target on their academic excellence,’ he concluded.
The government has established seasonal hostels for school children in a move to check the dropout rate as Balangir district infamous for its annual migration of workforce.
As against the state average of 5.2%, the dropout ratio of children from schools is recorded at 7.8%. Incidentally Rayagada has the highest dropout rates with 11.67%.