SRINAGAR: With most schools failing to meet the feasibility criteria set by the School Education Department, less than half the proposed schools in Kashmir have been considered for upgradation, officials said.
To make the excluded schools in the Valley ‘eligible’ for upgradation, the department, officials said, will “review” the feasibility criteria.
The government had in January said that it had approved the upgradation of 200 middle schools and 200 high schools (100 in each division) to the next higher level.
However, a top official at the Directorate of School Education Kashmir told Kashmir Reader that only 90 out of the proposed 200 middle and high schools in Kashmir had been considered for upgradation so far.
The 90 schools approved for upgradation in the Valley include 33 middle schools and 57 high schools, he said.
Across the state, the official said, only 190 middle and high schools out of the proposed 400 such schools had been upgraded as of date.
While the nearest distance between two high and higher secondary schools should be five and seven kilometres respectively, according to feasibility norms, the majority of the schools proposed for upgradation in the Valley have failed to meet the feasibility criteria, as per the official.
To ensure the left-out schools are considered afresh for upgradation, the department, the official said, is “reviewing the feasibility criteria”.
“There have been orders to keep the upgradation of a school pending till there is feasibility. If the feasibility reports are given negative, not a single school will be upgraded. We are reviewing the feasibility criteria,” he said.
Given the densely located private schools coupled with poor enrolment in their government counterparts in the capital city, the official even claimed, “No school is feasible for upgradation in Srinagar.”
Only three schools have been considered for upgradation in Srinagar district, in accordance with the feasibility reports furnished earlier, Chief Education Officer, Srinagar, Mudassir Kaleem Fazli told Kashmir Reader.
Fazli said that a relatively higher number of schools had been proposed for upgradation in Srinagar.
Likewise, out of eight schools proposed for upgradation to the next higher level in the district, only five have been approved so far, CEO, Shopian, Mohammad Sadiq said.
Sadiq hoped that the left-out schools would be eligible for the upgradation once the feasibility criteria are reviewed.
An official said that funds in the range of Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh would be invested on the upgraded schools’ infrastructure.
Besides, the required posts for the schools were also being created, he added.