School operating from two rooms fails to attract new admissions
‘Even the rent for these two rooms is unpaid for years together’
Srinagar: Belying the tall claims of the school education department to revolutionize the education sector in J&K state, a government middle school in Budgam town continues to represent a blot on the face of the government.
The Government Primary School (GPD) Chowdary Bagh is situated near the Baramulla-Banihal railway track in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The school depicts a grim picture of education sector in the state.
The school was established in Saifdun area in 2004 under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in a two-storey rented building. Given its dilapidated condition, the owner of the house later reduced the building to single storey some years ago and the school is now functioning from two congested rooms.
“The students have to bear with loud noise every time a train passes through the area. This noise is irritating but we are helpless given the location of the school,” said a teacher posted in the school.
Notably, the school has never seen any development since its establishment.
“The government is making tall claims that all efforts are being put to modernize the education sector in the state. But this school is craving for basic infrastructure,” the teacher said.
Drinking water, toilet facility, heating and cooling facilities have remained a distant dream for the students. “The roof of one room has been put on support to ensure that it doesn’t cave in. The students are at a risk here but we are not able to shift them due to non-availability of proper accommodation in the area,” an official said.
The lack of infrastructure and accommodation keeps students away from this school and the parents prefer private schools over government schools in the area.
“The school has no playground and no requisite facilities for the students. We fail to motivate parents to admit their kids here,” said a teacher.
On top of it, the department has failed to clear the pending rent liability of this school for the past many years.
“The department has not released the rent of this school while the owner of this building on many occasions has threatened to lock down the school,” an official said.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik when contacted said the department will hold a meeting with all Chief Education Officers (CEOs) to review the pending liability of rent for the schools operating in rented accommodations.
“We will also take up the matter with administrative department,” he said.