SRINAGAR: Six government schools, merged in 2016, have been functioning out of three rooms of Government Girls Middle School Ajar in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
The lack of infrastructure for these schools has left students in the lurch who have to study in cramped up spaces.
As per official figures, 120-odd students were enrolled in the school up till a few years ago but the number has now gone substantially low leading to further problems in the adjustment of students and staff members.
With the increasing roll, classrooms are jam-packed leading to students being taught shift-wise. The locals of Ajar Bandipora have been asking the education department to build the requisite infrastructure but to no avail.
“We have tried our best to reach every authority of the education department. The concerned Zonal Education Officer assured that he will look into the matter but everything went in vain,” a local said.
A student of one of the schools said, “We do not have a ground to play. We play atop the school building. The same space is employed for morning assembly function.”
She said that they are wary of falling off from the building top as it isn’t fortified on the sides. “It also can’t accommodate us all.”
Another student said that due to the fast-flowing stream nearby, the school buildings are experiencing deterioration. “Our classrooms are not even fully furnished; we have to sit on the floor in our classes for the whole day.”
The Secretary of the local Auqaf Committee said, “We have raised this issue with the Chief Educational Officer Bandipore who assured us that by July end everything would be in place. But nothing happened so far.”
The schools are also running without a headmaster leading to more rudderless planning.
“We request the Deputy Commissioner Bandipora and the Director School Education Kashmir to take up the matter immediately,” the local Auqaf Secretary added.
The Chief Education Officer Bandipora Abdul Roub Shad didn’t respond to repeated calls and messages from this reporter.
The concerned Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) said, “We have been trying and taking the matter to higher authorities. The major problem is the non-availability of land. The locals need to identify and donate the land for the school.”
“Currently, we are working on the fencing around the slab. Within a year, every issue would be resolved,” the ZEO said, adding that there is no shortage of staff at the school.