Government schools need more attention
The facilities available in various government schools spread across the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been debated a lot. Not only the basic facilities but the very buildings that house the schools spread across the state are in an appalling state giving us an insight about the real picture that depicts lack of infrastructure in the education sector.
However, a significant development has come to the fore wherein the School Education Department has released an amount of Rs 43 Crore for infrastructural up gradation in government high and higher secondary schools.
The development comes in the backdrop of the government’s decision to fix the infrastructural gaps in the government schools and equip the educational institutions with all basic facilities for the students.
An amount of Rs 21.50 crore each has been released for Kashmir and Jammu division for further placement at the disposal of the state project Director Samagra. As per the government order, advance drawal has been accorded on the conditions that the concerned Chief Accounts Officers of the concerned Directorates in Kashmir and Jammu division will vouchsafe availability of funds under the relevant account head for the purpose they are meant for.
The expenditure shall be booked after observing all codal formalities and following due tendering process as provided in the rules to arrive at the reasonable and competitive rates. Besides, asking for no diversion of funds in any case.
Interestingly a total 1933 schools in 22 districts of the State are without boys’ toilets. Of these, 1353 are Primary, 432 Middle, 93 Secondary and 55 Higher Secondary Schools. Similarly, a total of 1110 schools in 22 districts of the State are lacking girls’ toilets. Of these, 872 are Primary, 165 Middle, 38 High and 35 Higher Secondary Schools.
Moreover, a total of 438 schools in the State are without any boys’ and girls’ toilets. Of these 393 are Primary, 40 Middle and 5 High Schools. Similarly, 5433 schools lack drinking water facilities and 16597 schools have no access to electricity.
Over the years, the government had to face severe criticism for its failure to fix the infrastructural gaps in the schools as more than 50 percent students in government schools sit on floor in the government schools due to non-availability of proper desks and benches for the students.
The condition of schools was also reflected in a recent communiqué that was sent by ECI to the state government complaining about the poor facilities in schools. The ECI which is using these schools during elections as polling booths has sanctioned an amount of 1 Cr for District Baramulla alone to help the school education department to improve the facilities in the 900 schools that are to be used during the upcoming elections as polling centres.
The infrastructural issues have been haunting the school education department since long. One the one hand lack of political will on the part of those who were in power and on the other the inability of the officials of the education department to bring changes on large scale have been playing havoc with the entire education sector.
The crisis can be overcome by a multipronged approach wherein everyone has to chip in and provide some assistance to help improve the infrastructure in this crucial sector.