Rationalization: Hundreds of school buildings left to perish
Srinagar: Over the past three years the school education department has clubbed around 800 schools and out of these 572 government school buildings have been left unattended by the department post rationalization process carried by it to ‘streamline’ the pupil- teacher ratio in schools.
With no watch and ward from the education department, these schools of yesteryears have apparently turned into ghost houses. These school buildings are left unattended by the government from past years which resulted in encouraging of illegal practices in these structures.
“Most of these school buildings are located either in interiors of villages or foothills or on isolated places and have become best place for youth to kill their time,” an official said.
Post-rationalization the buildings of clubbed schools were left as empty structures resulting in a loss of crores of rupees for the state.
Interestingly, the education department proposed various ideas to make these structures functional by other departments however, there were no takers from the government.
Officials said the department earlier had proposed to handover the buildings to JKBOSE to enable them to accommodate their sub-offices in these buildings which are otherwise operating from rented buildings.
“But the initiative did not materialize as the directorate of school education and JKBOSE could not sort out the differences over utilizing these buildings,” an official said.
He said the department’s decision to utilize these buildings to accommodate its zonal offices didn’t mature due to unknown reasons.
“There were many initiatives taken like, start kindergarten classes in these buildings but very few structures were utilized for it,” he said.
As per the official figures, around 2406 buildings housing 1834 schools operating from rented buildings and 572 schools functioning in government buildings were clubbed by government under the rationalisation process in 2015.
The department had proposed to hand over around 500 school buildings to social welfare department however, the structures found no takers from social welfare department as well.
“The buildings need some repairs and social welfare department is not ready to do that and it has resulted in a stalemate in utilizing these buildings by the social welfare department,” the official said.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo when contacted said the department is concerned over these unattended structures and will take up the matter with the government to make them functional.
“Various proposals were made to utilize them but they were not implemented on ground. We will take up the matter with the government regarding this issue,” Itoo said.