SRINAGAR: After taking over the institution in April this year, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) is proposing to develop Modern High School – the lone school for poor and specially-abled children in Srinagar – into an in-house residential school, likely to be funded by the Government of India (GoI).
Modern High School, or the erstwhile ‘Abhenandan Home’ for disabled and poor children in uptown Srinagar’s Solina, is one of the oldest schools in the city, set up way back in 1941.
However, the school management fell apart over the years, necessitating the Social Welfare Department’s taking over the institution in April. Teachers at the school have been working without salary for more than a year-and-a-half, as per a teacher. Additionally the CRPF, which is occupying a sizeable area of the school since the nineteen nineties, has not paid any rent to the school management.
SPD Secretary Farooq Ahmad Lone said that they will resolve “whatever issues the school is facing”, including the salary of teachers and the rent pending with the CRPF.
Lone said that the issue of rent had been taken up with the Home Department.
“We are preparing a DPR (Detailed Project Report) on this. They will get the dues. We will provide them the required support,” he added.
An SPD official told Kashmir Reader that the GoI had “accepted in principle” to fund a proposed in-house residential school at Abhenandan Home Solina.
He said that the department was preparing a DPR for the school upgrade, which will be forwarded to the GoI soon.
In the project report, the official said that they have proposed the construction of separate hostels for specially-abled boys and girls.
Besides the two hostels, separate administrative and academic blocks have also been proposed in the DPR, as per the official.
Besides the required facilities and equipment, including reading material in Braille for blind children, the official said that they have asked for additional manpower.
“We will also have to see how the faculty, which is already in place at the school, can be adjusted,” added the official.
In case the proposed in-house school materialises, the official said that it would be run jointly by the SPD and the GoI.