The educational institutions torched by arsonists during summer uprising of 2016 await restoration and renovation as the department of education is not taking up the issue on priority. The department’s failure to ensure speedy restoration works is causing inconvenience to the students who were adjusted in adjacent schools, post unrest.
Officials said the department had sought Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) from the districts where schools came under attacks of arsonists causing huge loses to the department.
They said the total losses incurred by the department was to the tune of Rs 8 Cr and the proposal was submitted to administrative department for release of funds to start the renovation work in these schools.
“But nothing happened on grounds till date. Not a single penny was released by government to start the construction or renovation of the school buildings which were completely or partially gutted during the unrest,” the official said.
Interestingly, over 30 schools were gutted in all the districts of Kashmir. Out of these 30 buildings some had partial damages while as most of them were damaged fully.
15 schools were gutted in south Kashmir which comprises of four districts- Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopan. South Kashmir was the epicentre of the 2016 summer unrest which erupted post killing of Hizbul Mujahidin Commander Burhan Wani on July 08.
Nine schools were torched by the arsonists in Central Kashmir comprising three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal while as eight schools were set on fire in North Kashmir districts including Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora.
The torching of schools officials said left around 5000 students without buildings affecting their studies. “Post arsonist attacks on schools, the students enrolled in these schools were adjusted in nearby schools till further orders,” the official said.
Interestingly, an order was issued by the then Commissioner Secretary School Education in November last year wherein Chief Education Officers (CEOs) were directed to shift the students of the schools, damaged during the unrest, to the adjoining school.
“Further, the staff posted in the damaged schools shall also be readjusted immediately in relaxation of the transfer policy,” reads the order issued in November 2016.
“The government shifted the affected students to the nearby schools but no steps were taken to get the funds released to start the renovation of these school buildings,” the officials said.
Meanwhile, officials said the minister for education Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari has sought financial assistance from union government to start construction work on the gutted and unsafe school buildings.
“But union minister has asked the state delegation to furnish a comprehensive proposal to get central assistance for gutted and unsafe school buildings in Kashmir,” the official said.