As many as 18 students of Government Senior Secondary School, Koti village, in Morni on Saturday missed their half-yearly examination. Reason: The water level in Ghaggar river in Morni, which is the only way to access their school, rose due to incessant rain in the last two days.
Out of the 18 students, eight were from Class IX, another eight from Class X and two from Class XII. Half-yearly exams were scheduled for Saturday and it is on the basis of these exams that the students are allowed to take the final exams. Also, marks of half-yearly exams are included in the final score. Students of Class IX had their Science exam while Classes X and XII had English exam.
Although they had reached the river bank around 8 am, these students kept waiting till 9.30 am for the water to recede. Hem Lata and Rekha, students of Class XII, had walked three and seven kilometres from their villages, Late Batoli and Sone respectively. They kept waiting on the other side of the river.
“I feel like crying. I had prepared extensively for my exam and just because I couldn’t get to the school, I missed my exam. What could we do? All of a sudden, the water level rose,” Hemlata said.
She said, “It was already 9 am and the exam was to start at 8.30 am. Using the water pipeline over the river is risky. We kept shouting, but our teachers could not listen to us due to the gushing water. Finally, one sir saw us and understood that we are unable to come.”
The school authorities are now planning to write to the district education office requesting it to allow these students to take the exam again. Brij Kishore Gautam, a teacher of the primary classes in the school who too has to cross the river, said that he reached at 9.30 am. “I somehow managed to use the water pipeline to get to the school, although it was risky as the water was a few feet from the pipeline,” he said.
Gautam added, “We will be sending a written request to the DEO office as we don’t want the career of the students to be spoilt for no fault of theirs.” Harpal Singh, executive engineer of the Public Works Department, said that they had floated the tender for the construction of the bridge and it would be opened next week.
“Four firms have come forward. Work will be allotted in the next week. By navratras, we will get the work started,” Singh told Chandigarh Newsline. The bridge will be of 122-metre length and will be at a height of 40 feet from the river.
Residents of 59 villages of three-gram panchayats in Morni block — Rajji Tikri, Bhoj Kothi and Thandog — have been waiting for a bridge over Ghaggar river for decades. As it has not been built, residents have to wade through the river or do a risky balancing act over a water pipe to get to the other side. Even to access the school, students have to cross the river. The school is on a low rise close to the river bank.