Abandoned school buildings: DSEK fails to convince govt for taking over vacant buildings

Srinagar: Despite the passage of over two years, the Directorate of School Education (DSEK) has failed to find any takers for its school buildings left abandoned after rationalization of government schools in many areas of Kashmir Valley.

Interestingly, the education department earlier had approached government asking it to take over the possession of school buildings left abandoned after clubbing of schools.

“The buildings are abandoned, nobody is ready to take over these buildings from school education department,” an official said.

As per the official figures, over 800 school buildings were left abandoned in education department following the merger of educational institutions- an exercise initiated by JK government in 2015 to streamline the pupil-teacher ratio in government schools.

“The buildings which were left abandoned in wake of the merger of schools were vulnerable to miscreants’ attacks,” the official said.

Interestingly, no class work or any other school related happenings take place in these buildings and these empty structures are vulnerable to attacks, besides are attracting vulgar elements of the society as well.

“If these buildings continue to remain unattended it will cause huge losses for the department,” the official said.

Pertinently, around 33 government schools were set up in flames as miscreants find it easy to target these vacant buildings.

“In wake of the unrest that broke out post the killing of Hizbul Mujahidin Commander, Burhan Wani on July 08 in 2016 many vacant buildings were targetted,” said another official.

“No one is physically posted in the schools which were left abandoned as the staff and the students have been shifted to other school,” the official said.

As per the official figures,  55 schools were left abandoned in Kupwara district while as 176 in Baramulla and  20 in Bandipora district. Also, seven buildings are abandoned in Srinagar, 18 in Ganderbal and 81 in Budgam district respectively.

Officials said earlier the department had proposed to handover the buildings to JKBOSE to enable the board to utilize them for their sub-offices but the initiative remained confined to papers only.

“After BOSE refused to take over the buildings, the department decided to handover these buildings to social welfare department. But the buildings are still abandoned,” the official said.

“Around 500 out of 800 left out school buildings were handed over to social welfare department in March but nothing materialized on ground,” said the official.

The official said the social welfare department had to do some renovation of these buildings and put them in use but they have not gone ahead with the proposal.

Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) GN Itoo said the department has “taken up the matter with social welfare department and we are hopeful that the buildings will be put in use,” he said.




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