BUDGAM: Rundown classrooms, broken windowpanes, a crumbling boundary wall – all problems fade in comparison to the need for a functioning washroom for the 90 students of the Government Girls Middle School in Budgam. Their topmost requirement, as the students told Kashmir Reader, is for attention to be paid to their school’s washroom facilities. Getting a functioning washroom is a priority surpassing all other demands for these the students.
The school has five washrooms but of them only two are functional. One is meant for students and the other for staffers.
The school’s students mostly complained that the lack of a washroom facility is a “major problem” for them, which they want the education department to address on priority.
Sukhbeer Singh, who has recently taken over as principal of the school, confirmed to Kashmir Reader that the lack of toilets is an issue.
“We have written a letter to Chief Education Officer Budgam for fencing and washrooms in school,” he said. According to him, they are trying to provide every facility to their students.
The worn-out infrastructure is having unfortunate consequences for the school – student enrolment is coming down as parents have removed their wards and are admitting them to other institutions in the district. A teacher, who pled anonymity because she was not authorised to talk to the media, confirmed this. She said last year the student roll was above 100 but it came down to 90 this year because of the lack of facilities and infrastructure.
Promising future improvement, Budgam’s Chief Education Officer, Abdul Rouf Shahmiri, said, “We are going to renovate all the schools and I will ensure that all funds will be available.”