No local families find shelter in deserted building
Shopian: Four government primary schools located in a radius of three kilometers in Shopian district are closed for the last few years for want of students. The schools in Malibug, Malikgund, Zainabatoo and Chanchward villages not functioning, as officials say they have no students on roll.
The school building at Zainbatoo has, meanwhile, been occupied by a non-local labourer family, who found a safe home in the deserted building.
However, residents of Malibug village told Kashmir Reader that they wanted the school to restart but demand change in staff.
“The local teachers who were working in school always came late and they are not capable of providing quality education to students,” a group of villagers said.
Villagers say the school had a good roll before the “transfer of teachers”.
“Local ReT teachers degraded the functioning of school which forced us to send our children to other private or government schools,” Javid Ahmad, a resident of Malibug, said.
Residents of Malikgund also told Kashmir Reader that they wanted the local school to resume functioning.
“We submitted a list of 20 students with signature and affidavit of parents to the department for which they asked but authorities haven’t restarted the school work,” Abdul Rehman, a local said.
The villagers submitted the list after CEO Shopian told Kashmir Reader that the school functioning could be restarted if the villagers submit a list of “at least 17 students” for the school.
The primary school in Zainabatoo village is occupied by non local labourer families.
“We are here since 2016, our fellow families have left, but we found it better to live here as this school building was closed,” one of the family members putting up in the school said.
While the school remains closed for want of students, a private school, some 30 meters away, has more than 250 students on roll.
Another school for Chanchward, a small village with only eight households, is closed from past two years.
“It (the school opening) was an attempt by corrupt officers to create ReT posts, how else can government spent lakhs of rupees to build a school in a village which have only eight households,” a local resident said.
A group of senior citizens from area told Kashmir Reader that education department has miserably failed in the area. “Authorities are taking bribes from dull and incapable teachers which in turn degraded the education system and we have no option but to send our children to private schools,” they said.
Chief Education Officer Shopian Mohammad Sadiq told Kashmir Reader that the schools were closed because parents were not willing to send their children to government schools.
He added that the list of students from Malikgund residents had not reached his office. “When the list reaches me I will deploy teachers there and school work will be restarted,” he said.
He also promised action against those occupying the government school.