Despite funds, Shopian school lacking on library, lab material

Despite funds, Shopian school lacking on library, lab material
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Refuses computer lab under GOI scheme citing lack of space

SHOPIAN: Among other things, the Government Boys Higher Secondary School Shopian lacks a equipped library, laboratory and technical equipments. Despite availability of funds, the equipment has not been bought, and offer of an ICT (computer) lab under a GoI scheme was declined by the school for “lack of space”
Local residents alleged the school is jeopardising the careers of 1400 students.
Sources in the school told Kashmir Reader that two years back government offered a computer lab for the institution but the principal declined citing lack of space.
“The central scheme was being given to rare institutions on demand of 1000 square feet of space but the Principal told them there is no space for that and they withdrew the scheme,” an insider said while adding that by denying space for the lab, the students have been bereft of computer and technical education and thus unable able to compete with the students of other districts. The source added that the value of the scheme was around Rs 20 lakh.
Students from the institute told Kashmir Reader that the library material in the school was negligible and they face immense problems to avail study material.
“There are no books in our school, we told the school authorities several times to buy some books but they act as mute spectators,” Irfan Ahmad, a class XII student said.
Several other students added that school authorities were not issuing books to the students.
“We often visit the library and ask them to provide books but they refuse to do that without telling us the reason,” one of the students said.
Students who have opted for the medical (bio-sciences) stream said that there were no equipments in the laboratory. They said that the laboratory was almost empty and the instruments outdated.
“We are being denied of practicals and without practicals there is no worth of opting for medical stream,” another student said.
An official from the institution said that the school authorities were not utilizing the local funds meant for buying equipments, books and other infrastructure. “There are about Rs 50 lakh of local funds lying useless, but no one is thinking about the careers of students. Most of the students belong to economically weak backgrounds,” he said.
Principal, Abdul Majeed told Kashmir Reader that he lacks the authority to spend beyond Rs 25000 a year. Asked about denying space for computer lab in the school, he reiterated that there was no space for that. Chief Education Officer, Shopian, Muhammad Sadiq told Kashmir Reader that the Principal never brought the issue of space for lab into his notice.
He added that he too has no authority to spent more than a lakh without approval of higher authorities.
“I have approved Rs 1 lakh for buying equipments and principal told me purchase is under process,” he said.
Joint Director School Education, Nisar Ahmad said that he has approved funds for buying equipments.
“I will look into why books aren’t not being issued to students. I will ask the school authorities about the lab too,” he said adding that he has approved funds for buying equipments and books and was told by principal that the purchase was under process.
Asked about the lakhs of rupees pending utilization in local funds, Nisar said has he has approved over two lakh in a fresh instalment and “next will be done accordingly”.