SRINAGAR: The schoolchildren studying in government schools have been deprived of free uniforms even as half of the academic session has already expired. This is for the second consecutive year that the school uniforms have been denied to the children belonging to the underprivileged classes.
Teachers say that they cut a sorry figure when the students and their parents demand new uniforms, which have been promised to them by the authorities. A schoolteacher Aliya, who works in a school in old Srinagar, said that parents were casting aspersions on the intent of teachers though the teachers have no role in holding back the uniforms.
She said the people from underprivileged class admit their children in government schools with a hope that the children would be provided facilities including stationary and uniform but when these facilities are not provided to them, they take their children out.
According to teachers, in 2015 also, funds for purchasing uniforms were not released.
Asima, a parent said, “Our children wear the worn out uniform of the previous year. The children are growing up and the old clothes are shrinking for them to wear,” she said.
Interestingly, the amount to purchase uniforms is transferred to the bank accounts of schools rather than providing it directly to the students. In states outside Jammu and Kashmir, the amount goes directly to the students’ accounts.
An amount of Rs 400 is provided to the schools for purchasing two sets of uniforms for each child.
Director of School Education, GN Itoo said the uniforms are provided to students free of cost under the Sarva Saksha Abhiyan scheme. “I will confirm from the Director SSA about the funds,” he said.
Centrally sponsored scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been operational since 2000-2001 to provide elementary education and improving the quality of learning. The scheme includes opening of new schools and alternate schooling facilities, construction of schools and additional classrooms, toilets and drinking water, free textbooks and uniforms.