Srinagar: Unbelievable but it is true. A government school in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town which was almost facing a closure has done such a remarkable turnaround that the administration had to put up a notice informing parents that the school cannot take up more admission for this academic year.
While the Jammu and Kashmir government always cuts a sorry figure over poor performance of its schools, this school in Baramulla has become a trend setter in the education sector after receiving enormous response from parents for admissions of their wards in the school.
Unlike other government run schools which fail to attract the students for admission in schools, the enrollment in the Government Central High school Bunglow Bagh, Baramulla also recognized as ‘College School Baramulla’, this year has reached to 300.
The response has been so overwhelming that the school administration has now closed the admission process citing non availability of space in the school to accommodate more students in the classrooms.
“We don’t have enough space here to accommodate more students so we have informed the parents accordingly,” said Munner Wani, a teacher posted in the school.
Till 2015 the school was running classes up to 8th standard with an enrollment of students below 50 and the then education minister merged other nine schools which were functioning at a distance of one kilometer in the area.
“After merging nine schools including a high school in 2015, the enrollment of this school increased upto 120. The merger was followed by the change of head of the institution as well,” the teachers posted in the school said.
Surprisingly, within one year, the standard of the school witnessed a drastic change and became the best choice for the parents to admit their wards in the institution.
“The new headmaster was posted in the school in 2015 and when the new academic session 2016 started in the schools, this institution saw a steep increase in the enrollment which was above 250,”a group of teachers said.
After receiving enormous response from parents the then school headmistress, Jameela Showkat decided to run two shifts in the institution which later turned out to be a successful exercise and was well received by the authorities as well as parents.
“During 2016 unrest this was the only school which was running two shifts. Morning shift used to start at 8 am and the second shift started in afternoons at 2 upto 5pm,” the teachers said.
This year the school has again achieved a milestone after its enrollment of students including new and already enrolled students increased above 300.
“The response is so huge that the teachers posted in nearby schools request us to refer the parents to those schools so that their enrollment will increase as well,” Muneer Wani said.
The school located in old town Baramulla has become a trend setter for other government schools but the indifferent attitude of authorities is likely to fail it as the institution has been left headless from past almost one year.
“The new headmaster posted here in 2015 was shifted in early 2017. Since then the school is headless,” the teachers said.
Also, the authorities at district level have displaced over a dozen teachers from the institution who are posted at other institution but continue to draw salary from the school,” an official said.
He said earlier the government posted around 30 teachers here to cater to two shifts run in the school but now the number of teachers physically posted here is only 15.
“If the displaced teachers will be posted back in the institution we can continue second shift from March. But given the present staff strength it is impossible to do justice with the students who are enrolled here,” the teachers said.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo while expressing satisfaction over the positive development said the matter will be taken up with Chief Education Officer Baramulla to ascertain the details of teachers posted there and those who are deployed at other places will be posted in the institution only.
“We have a convened a review meeting on Monday which will be attended by all CEOs and this issue will be discussed there as well,” Itoo said. “We will strengthen the institution for the betterment of students,” he assured.