By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: Government Middle School Taqiabal in education zone Bijbehara in this southern district paints a grim picture of Education Department.
Established in 1960 as primary school and upgraded as middle school in 2008 under the central sponsored scheme, SSA, the school continues to function from a rented accommodation with just three rooms for nine classes.
The condition of classrooms in the old and dilapidated building is too unhygienic to be used for accommodation of the children.
The mud plastered walls of the classrooms have suffered cracks while as the unhygienic floor of classrooms is breeding germs and insects.
The school also does not have toilet and water facility forcing the students to defecate in open.
Teachers posted in the school said that the unhygienic floors of classrooms breed all kinds of insects which often create panic among the children.
“The unhygienic conditions of classrooms with no ventilation may also tell upon the health of small kids. Our female teachers go to a nearby house to use washroom which is highly ironical,” a teacher told Precious Kashmir.
Non-availability of classrooms, locals complained is forcing the teachers to teach only upper primary classes on rainy days. “On sunny days teachers manage to handle all the classes using the small school premises but on rainy days it is not possible for them to accomodate all the classes,” said a local Abdul Rashid adding ‘Since we know the condition of the rented school building we too can not argue with teachers when they teach only half of classes in case of rains’.
Locals rued that the top authorities of the education department have failed to construct the building for the school despite demarcation of the land for the purpose twice by the district admin.
“It is the 60 year old school in the village. Despite our repeated representations to the authorities in last several years to sanction the building for the school, nothing has been done,” locals complained.
A local resident whose kid studies in the school said that besides locals, some teachers posted in the school also have been knocking the doors of the top authorities of the education and district admin with the plea to sanction the building for the school but they too are now disappointed.
Though the process for the identification of the land, he said, due to efforts of the local teachers had made some progress last year but nothing happened later.
“Even the land was demarcated for school and further process initiated but then the entire process suddenly came to halt. One wonders if the education really is any priority for authorities,” a local questioned. Mohammad Yunus Malik who was heading the school education department, Kashmir, did not attend repeated calls from Precious Kashmir for at least three days till he was transferred on Sunday.
According to locals, Malik had strongly recommended the case of the school during his tenure as ADC Anantnag but failed to pursue the case seriously as director education.
However, chief education officer (CEO), Anantnag, Mr Shad said that he will look into the matter after seeking details from the ZEO concerned.