Sopore: Running at the mercy of the elements, like many government schools do in Sopore, the two-storey building of Government Boys High School Tarzoo (Panjipora) has not seen any kind of renovation or up-gradation in decades. Human apathy has however turned out to be an ecological blessing, for, with birds frequenting it in large flocks over the years, the school’s second storey has become, in effect, a big conservatory.
The school, located in Tarzoo village near Sopore town, was established some 47 years ago and is the only high school available to a number of villages adjacent to the district’s main town. It has long deserved better renovation and up-gradation than it has ever received, but instead its infrastructure has only been left to deteriorate.
The school’s two-storey building was constructed under RMSA. Today, its ground floor is functional, with four rooms available, but the upper storey has been declared unsafe due to the dilapidated condition of its roof, on which construction has been left incomplete. This has invited different kinds of birds, especially pigeons, to the building, making it the veritable bird sanctuary it is today.
“In total, we have six classrooms available in which we teach almost 175 students enrolled in our school. This is quite a small space for a high-school level of standard education. Also in these six classrooms, we have one laboratory, a library and a games room. It is quite frustrating for students as well as for staff that even after having a second storey available with four rooms in it, it has been left dysfunctional as it lies in shambles and the birds have made it their home,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a senior teacher on deployment to this school, told Kashmir Reader.
“We are living in the 21st century, the era of the digital world in which everything has become digital, but unfortunately our students at this high school have no computer lab facility available. They have been denied this facility by our own government,” he added.
“You will be shocked to know that last year we sold the bird excreta covering our school’s second storey to farmers, which earned our school almost seven thousand rupees. Now you can imagine from the quantity of the excreta we sold last year how many birds have settled on the second storey of our school. It’s a complete shame on the part of our education department,” another teacher at the school told Kashmir Reader.
“We have written several times to the department of Education about the shoddy condition of our school; the department even directed the concerned officer to get the estimate of the building so that it can be renovated, but till date no one has ever come to our school, neither any official nor any engineer,” Mushtaq Ahmad said.
“Students here are from many villages, like Tarzoo, Dharnabal, Kranshivan, Minipora, Panjipora and Ahal Bagh, and are completely dependent on this high school for their education as it is the only such available near their villages. But the school cannot afford quality education as it lacks proper infrastructure and basic facilities, which will affect the future of our kids,” Abdul Rashid, whose son studies in this high school, told Kashmir Reader.
Students at the school, its staff and the locals of this village want to appeal to the Director School Education to take cognizance of the matter and carry out the measures necessary without further delay.
When Kashmir Reader spoke to Chief Education Officer Abdul Ahad, he said he would “surely look into this matter and will try to address this issue as soon as possible”.