Unconcerned: Proposal to procure mobile labs for schools comes to a grinding halt
Srinagar: The much hyped initiative of J&K government to purchase mobile laboratories for the schools has been shelved given the laxity of the school education department.
Earlier, the department had cleared a proposal to use Mobile Science Laboratories (MSL) fitted in buses. Each vehicle as per the officials would have cost Rs 40 lakh.
An official said the proposal was mooted by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) which was later cleared by the government for its implementation from the last year.
“It was agreed to use mobile laboratories in schools. To begin with, the mobile laboratories were supposed to be sent to schools located in far flung areas,” an official said.
The official said the funding for the project was to be done under erstwhile Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and the laboratories were to be operated through DSEK.
“Department had decided to appoint different nodal teams at district level who would coordinate with the department for conduct of practical classes in mobile laboratories,” the official said.
The directorate of school education in its proposal claimed that the initiative will overcome the deficiency of accommodation and laboratory apparatus in government high and higher secondary schools in Kashmir.
“The department has countless institutions where science is taught without proper laboratory facility and even if laboratory is available, these are devoid of personnel capable of performing the experiments,” read the contents of the proposal mooted by the directorate.
The government also had agreed to invest 1.60 crore to start the project as well.
“As per the proposal, the government had decided to start MSL in one or two districts on pilot basis to assess the success indicators,” the official said.
He however, said the project couldn’t take off due to unknown reasons as no MSL was procured by the department.
Government in its proposal had claimed that it will cover three zones in a week by keeping the MSL stationed at a centrally located school.
“The students from nearby schools shall also be invited to use the facility. Students from rural far flung areas, tribal areas and other underprivileged sections will be covered under this initiative on priority,” read the proposal.
Secretary school education department, Sarita Chauhan said the issue will be looked into. “I will call a meeting to ascertain the status of the project,” she told ‘Kashmir Vision’.