Villagers say gave every thing the government asked for
SHOPIAN: A school in Rawalpora-Awend villages of the district is operating from two locations for want of space, while work on the sanctioned new building is pending for years.
At its original location, the school is managing eight classes from five rooms. Other students have to walk three kilometers to another village for classes since 2017, after some miscreants torched another three room building of the school.
“We are managing eight classes in five rooms here. Three classes in another school which is three kilometers from here,” a teacher at the school told Kashmir Reader.
Villagers from Rawalpora said that they have given 12 Kanals of land for the construction of school building.
“Officials completed every formality and even sanctioned funds for its construction but till date not even foundation stone of school has been laid,” said Abdul Rasheed Mir, Chairman of Awkaf Committee Rawalpora. He added the government had sanctioned Rs 75 lakhs years ago “which according to experts was not sufficient for the project”.
Teachers at the school said the three rooms “partially gutted” in 2017 were not repaired by the government adding to the problems of students as well as teachers.
“We don’t have a play ground, no sufficient rooms. All books and equipment were gutted but no book or lab material was provided since then by the authorities,” a teacher Mir Qasim said, adding that more than 150 students are studying in the high school.
Arshid Ahmad, a villager said that they provided everything the government demanded for construction of high school building. “They asked for land, we provided more than that. They asked for road we gave land for that too, but that road needs repairs which is the duty of government,” he said while demanding speedy construction of school building.
Several youth from the village said the tall claims of government about facilities in government run schools and renovation of education sector fall flat in the village.
For some 700 families, the school is the only source of government run education in the area.
Irfan Ahmad, a class X student of the school, said they have to walk three kilometers every day despite having a high school in their village.
Chief Education Officer Shopian, Muhammad Sadiq told Kashmir Reader they will start work on school building soon. “We will try to complete the whole structure of building by the end of this year. There were issues between the two villages regarding the location of school, now we have resolved that and we will start its work soon,” he said adding that the project cost has been revised to Rs 1.10 crore.
For repairs of torched building, however, he said, they have received no funds.
“We haven’t received funds for that yet. Government has released some funds, but for other schools which were torched by miscreants in past. We hope its repairs will be also done soon after the release of funds”.