Govt finally wakes up to accommodation woes of schools
Srinagar: In a significant development the J&K government has decided to provide a ‘special’ funding to the school education department to procure proper accommodation facilities for educational institutions running from rented accommodations.
In the first phase, the government will cover schools of Srinagar district and provide proper accommodation to students enrolled in these government schools which are operational from rented buildings.
“All the rented schools of Srinagar district will be shifted to new accommodations which will be procured by the department in coming future,” an official said.
The announcement for providing special funding to the department was taken in the last district development board meeting chaired by Chief Minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti for Srinagar district.
“In the meeting it was decided that education department will be given funding to purchase houses instead of hiring accommodations to accommodate rented schools in these houses. The Houses will be property of the department and permanent accommodation for the students,” Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo said.
He said the process for release of funds to the department is under consideration of the government.
“As and when funds are released, process for procurement of Houses will be started,” he said, adding that the move will decrease the rented schools functioning in the district.
As per official figures, there are around 519 government schools in Srinagar district out of which 243 schools are functioning from rented rooms which are in pathetic conditions.
The rented accommodations hired by the department lack every basic facility which is prerequisite for the students.
“The rented rooms are without basic facilities of toilet and drinking water. Most of these rented schools don’t have playfield for students. But the new decision by government will improve the situation on ground and will also produce positive results in terms of academics too,” Itoo said.
However, the director education said the department had no plans about the rented schools functional in other districts than Srinagar. The rented schools in other districts are also in pathetic conditions and students are crammed in one or two roomed structures which are in shabby conditions. For example there are more than 150 schools functional in rented accommodations in Baramulla district.
“In other districts we don’t have any plans as of now as situation in these districts is not worse. As of now we have only chalked out a plan for rented schools of Srinagar district,” the Director added.