by Mujtaba Hussain
SRINAGAR: Government Girls High School in Saidpora village of Baramulla district has just three rooms for housing students of eleven classes leading to many students discontinuing their studies.
The School Education department has failed to construct a new building for the school even though the Right to Education act 2009 provides that a school should have a separate room for every class, separate toilets for boys and girls, and a clean drinking water facility.
A teacher at the school, wishing anonymity said, “Due to a shortage of space, we are teaching some students in a room meant for cooking. In summer, we would take classes in the open but due to extremely cold conditions, we are forced to adjust the students in three rooms.”
The teacher said the school lacks library and laboratory facilities along with no proper drinking water facilities as well. “We have only two toilets in the school. One is for the faculty and the other one is commonly used by both boys and girls.”
Locals say that the lack of facilities has over the years forced many female students to discontinue their studies. “We are being neglected by the administration for unknown reasons. Every year, the pass percentage of our school in matriculation exams is 100 per cent. A couple of our students qualify NEET exams every year.”
Zafar Ali, Saidpora Sarpanch said, “Since the upgradation of the school in 2009 from the Middle to High school, we have been continuously reaching the CEO (Chief Education Officer) Baramulla for the infrastructure upgradation, but we never got any positive response.”
He said the Panchayat has collected money and 20 kanals of land from locals to build a temporary building for students.
Some years back, following protests by locals, the government turned the institute into a model school but to no avail.
Mohammad Aslam, Headmaster of the School and Zonal Education Officer Sopore said, “We have given the requisition to higher authorities many times. This year a building has been sanctioned under the district Capex budget (Samagra Shiksha). We are waiting for the publication of the tender invitation notice from the engineering wing of the School Education department.”
“The CEO Baramulla has told me that the building has been sanctioned and the tendering process will be shortly completed.”
However, the school falls under the Dangerpora zone of the school education department.
The ZEO Dangerpora said the construction of a concrete building for the school would be constructed this year on a “priority” basis.
Chief Education Officer Baramulla didn’t respond to repeated phone calls and messages.