By Ishfaq Reshi
Magam: Following the 2011 Survey of Higher Education conducted across India, the state government announced to set up established a degree college at Magam area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Six years down the line, the messy state of affairs in the educational institution remains to be a dream for the students and the locals.
The college according to the students lacks proper infrastructure. “It has an incomplete building and functions from three temporary sheds erected in the compound of the Higher Secondary School Magam. Besides, few of rooms of the Higher Secondary School are used for administrative purposes of the college, which has 900 students on rolls,” the locals said.
The students complain that they are not able to concentrate on their studies because there is a lot of noise and chaos in the premises including the classrooms. “We have to bear the brunt of the lack of space. Sometimes classes are taken under the open sky,” a faculty member told Kashmir Reader.
He said it was immensely difficult to accommodate students in the temporary tin sheds forcing the teachers to hold classes in the open space. “We are forced to teach the students in these temporary tin sheds. “How can you expect quality education when the infrastructure is very ordinary,” he said.
“During heavy downpour, we are forced to shift the college students to the Higher Secondary building as the rain trickles down through the holes in the roof of these sheds,” said another staff member.
He said that during summers, the students and teachers find it difficult to breathe free in these tin sheds due to the scorching heat and suffocation. “Many of the students have collapsed during the summers due to suffocation and high temperature.”
Few of the rooms of higher secondary school building, students say, are also used by the college faculty as a result of which the higher secondary school students also suffer.
Despite the fact that the land has been acquired for the construction of the college building and the construction initiated six years ago, the lackadaisical approach of the authorities has halted the realization of the students’ dream to study in proper classrooms.
The locals said that the college has not been set up to the best satisfaction of the people as only a few subjects of humanities and arts stream are taught in the institution. “Only few of the subjects of Arts and Humanities like the political science, history, education and Urdu are taught here and the students who want to opt science stream or other subjects of Arts and Humanities are left with no option, but to take admission in Degree Colleges in Srinagar some 25 km away” said Sartaj, a BA 1st year student.
“The non-availability of all the streams in the college is shattering dreams of the poor students as they can’t afford the daily bus fare to Srinagar and thus prefer to study the subjects offered in the college,” he added.
The college also lacks teaching faculty. “There are only a few permanent faculty members in the college while the rest are working on a contractiul academic arrangement,” said Arif Ahmad, a student. The students said that the higher education department should fill all the vacant posts in teaching and non teaching categories in the institution at an earliest.
The students said that no full- fledged library has been established in the college. “Though there are few books in a small almirah in the staff room, but there is no well established library where the students could go through newspapers and magazines and keep themselves updated about the latest happenings,” said a girl student Masrat. The sports enthusiasts said that there is nothing in the college for recreational and sports activisties.
Zahiruddin, Principal of the college admitted that the college faces accommodation crunch and there is really problem regarding the accommodation. He said the issue would be resolved soon.
He said that an amount of Rs 6 crore has been spent so far on the construction from a projected cost of Rs 9 crore. “The college administration has got the deadline from department that they will hand over the building in April,” he said soon after the handover, the college would start functioning in its own campus.