Kulgam: A vital government school at Jogimarg in Kulgam district’s remote Damhal-Hanjipora belt has a total of only three rooms as infrastructure, where children are forced to have classes under the open sky while the authorities watch on as mute spectators.
This government school, according to teachers posted there, has good enrolment figures as compared to other schools since the majority of the people in this area have no means to afford to educate their children at private schools.
“Tell me, how come can we run normal school work in three rooms as we have to adjust nine classes, comprising 190 students, and an office and a laboratory/Library?” rues teacher Muzamil Ahmad Shah.
Local villagers say that nobody cared about their children’s education, even after the old school building developed damage. The government declared it unsafe but without providing the school any new building or funds.
“Our area gets always neglected by the government. We will sell our everything but will not compromise on the education of our children, but the people in government, whose children are studying in high-profile schools, don’t want our children to get literate,” Jahangir Ahmad Wani, a school dropout from Jogigund, said.
Teachers from the school told Kashmir Reader that during the rains or on days of intense sun light, they either send the students to their homes or push them all into two rooms, which wastes the students’ precious time and renders waste the purpose of having a school at all.
“The authorities clubbed two more schools with our school, despite knowing the reason this school has no space to adjust a roll of 190 students,” another teacher posted in the school said, adding that they sometimes shift students to the old, unsafe building, thus risking the students’ very lives.
Chief Education Officer, Kulgam, Bashir Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that they have written about the condition of the school to the higher authorities. “We have written for the sanction of a building for this school but didn’t get any reply from higher authorities till this date,” he said.