Baramulla: The state of education in Kashmir can most aptly be described as being in a shambles. Here is another example of the gulf that lies between the claims and the reality. Official records say that the government established a degree college in the middle of Rafiabad area at Hadipora village on the Baramulla-Kupwara highway in 2012 and installed a board along the roadside. Official records also say that this college has students and teaching staff. What the official records do not say is that the building of the degree college was never constructed, and the students and teachers of this college do their work in the nearby building of Government Higher Secondary School Hadipora.
When in 2012 the foundation of the college was laid, 90 kanals of land were required for the construction of college buildings. About 40 kanals of land were available as state-owned land but the other 50 kanals belonged to farmers. The government not only failed to buy the farmers’ land, it also failed to occupy its own land. To make matters worse, the persons who were occupying the state land went to court to claim its ownership and the case is still there, leaving the government unable to do anything.
“The government announced a degree college for Rafiabad and identified a large portion of land in Hadipora which was in the middle of Rafiabad on the Baramulla-Kupwara highway. At that time, government officers took over seven rooms of the nearby higher secondary school with the assurance that the college buildings will be ready within a year. But more than four years have passed and the government has not started the construction of even a single building. Students and teachers still use the rooms of the higher secondary school,” Riyaz Ahmad, a student of the college, said.
Another student, Nisar Ahmad, said that the seven rooms of the upper storey of the school are all the college they have. “In five rooms we have teaching classes, in one room a small library, and an office in the seventh room. There is no other facility, not even a washroom. We use the washrooms of the school. There are only Arts courses taught in this college as there is no infrastructure for Science courses.”
The locals of the area said that the government should shift out the college students from the school as the education of school students was being disturbed.
Principal of the ‘Government Degree College Hadipora Rafiabad’, Bashir Ahmad, admitted that students of the college were facing many problems, but said that he could not do anything. “We have 101 students in Arts stream,” he informed. “We hope that the matter of the college building will be resolved soon and the college will have its own infrastructure.”