By INSHA LATIEF
SRINAGAR: At a Government Middle School in Srinagar’s Rahbab Sahab area, students are taught in a corridor for want of space. The school started in 2002 from a rented single room, but as the roll increased, the teachers asked the landlord to provide them more space. He obliged, and provided them a corridor and another room.
A teacher at the school asking not to be named said, “It’s his greatness that he has supported us and provided a space on very low amount that we pay him as a rent.”
According to teachers, the rent of the school has been set at Rs 1000. “It’s a joke that we are here on such a low amount. Government tells us to find space in Rs 1000. What would we get in that? Landlords get more rent from other people and that is why they are reluctant to give space to schools,” he said.
From last four years, no rent has been released for the school. “We are fortunate that landlord is waiting for so long. If we would have been at other place, we would have been thrown out,” he said. “Government wants quality education but how would we provide that with schools lacking basic infrastructure. Forget about playground, our students have no space to sit.”
Presently, the school has 35 students and five teachers. Some of the students sit in narrow corridor. A teacher sits cross-legged among students.
She said, “Even during winters, we sit on floor because we don’t have much space here so we can’t put in the furniture. In winters, it’s hard to sit because of the cold.”
The kitchen of the school is in one of the classroom. Buckets and utensils are kept on the counter to cook mid-day meals. In the same room, students of 6th, 7th and 8th class sit together on the mat and take their lessons.
“Not only staff, but students are also suffering. Nothing is being done by government at the ground level,” said Rafiya.