Srinagar: Imagine the plight of the education sector in the state when the government has a mere 92 paisa allocation to be spent as maintenance on each government school per day.
“J&K government has just 92 paisa to spent as maintenance charges on each government school per day. This is the ground reality,” the Minister for Education, Altaf Bukhari said Tuesday.
The minister while addressing students during a daylong program on provincial level counseling and guidance session organized by Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK), opened up divulging details about the sorry state of affairs in the education sector.
He admitted that 70 percent of government schools in the state are without electricity facility and proper sanitation.
“60 percent schools don’t have drinking water facility. This is the challenge which I have set for myself,” the minister said.
He further said the situation in rural areas was more worst where students have only government schools available for their studies.
“The schools have best teachers but lack the basic infrastructure,” he said.
The education minister said the government was trying to provide good infrastructural facilities in schools for students.
“But it can’t be done overnight . It will take some years to rebuild the infrastructure which was lost in floods. We will ensure that all government schools will have their own auditorium to hold their functions,” he said.
He said that 90 percent students opt for private coaching and these students come from private educational institutions.
“Why students go for private tuitions tuitions, I have failed to understand. Either it is a fashion symbol or it is depicting a flaw in our education system here,” he said.
He said students in other states go for private coaching for competitive exams but in J&K the students have a different phenomenon of taking tuition in lower classes.
“If people say academics are not good in government schools then why private school students go for private tuitions,” the minister said.
He stated that Kashmir University (KU) should come up with a research on this phenomenon.
“It is a concern for all of us. Students should also give a thought to it,” Altaf Bukhari said.
The education minister said the students can’t be driven like cattle and should resist private coaching.
“Government has best and qualified teachers available in schools. Apart from ReT, we have general line teachers who have qualified competitive exams for their selection in the department,” he said.
The minister further said the government will setup career counseling cells in each school so that students will get exposed to the available opportunities.
“We have experts available in Valley and students need not to go hunting outside. The schools will also have extra curriculum activities in schools in 2018,” he said.
He said the academic session in schools remain confined to exams and results till November which doesn’t go well with the students.
The education minister said the government was working to gain maximum number of working days in one academic calendar in schools.
“Most of the working days in schools are lost due to various reasons. We will ensure that schools get at least 200 working days in an academic session,” the minister said.
Altaf Bukhari said the department will make Sunday as a working day for schools if educational institutions remain closed during normal working days.
“I have always appealed separatists and mainstream politicians to spare education from politics of hartals so that students get maximum working days in schools,” he said.