Srinagar: The tall claims of the state government to take education to newer heights, notwithstanding there are around 72.21 percent government schools which do not have a boundary wall. Also 71.98 percent government schools lack playgrounds for school children.
Pertinently, there are around 23,773 government schools in state. However, the official figures reveal that around 17,112 are without playgrounds and 17,167 are without any boundary walls.
Given the lack of four walling in government schools the government is putting lives of thousands of school going children at risk and is also posing threat to the school property.
“Already we don’t have chowwkidars for all the schools. And lack of fencing in school premises is posing security threats to the school property,” an official of the department said, wishing not to be named.
The official said that most of the schools particularly in rural areas are located either on isolated foothills or along streams wherein four walling for such schools becomes prerequisite.
“Above all, an educational institution is sacred and there should be privacy in the institutions,” the official said.
Notably, the lack of playground tells upon the physical activity of the small children in the government schools as the lack of playfields spoil their leisure time in schools.
“Playground is a must for physical fitness of every child and schools should have at least this facility for students. Unfortunately, the students don’t have this facility in their schools,” he said.
Interestingly, the J&K government has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for improving infrastructural and academic standards in the government schools.
“Signing MoUs with union ministry is mere an eyewash. It doesn’t make any change on ground. The basic flaw of these schools is that they have been constructed in such a way that there is no provision for maintaining any playground,” said an official wishing anonymity.
A cursory look on location of various primary and Upper Primary Schools (UPS) reveals the flawed policies of education department as the school buildings have been constructed in haphazard manner leaving no space for playfields.
“But government is indifferent towards these basic issues which has pushed the students of government schools to the wall,” the official said.
Secretary school education department, Farooq Ahmad Shah when contacted said the government is taking all measures to provide all the facilities to the students in government schools.
“Setting up a playfield and covering the school premises with four walling is also into the consideration of the government,” he added.