Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has asked Director School Education Kashmir to file a report before it on the failure of the Board of School Education to provide adequate heating and lighting arrangements to students during examinations.
Hearing a petition moved by activist Raja Muzaffar Bhat against the Board for failing to provide adequate heating and lighting arrangements to students, Chairperson SHRC Justice Bilal Nazki directed authorities to file the report by January 29, 2019.
The petitioner has sought response from Commissioner Secretary to Govt School Education Department, Chairman J&K Board of School Education Srinagar / Jammu and Director School Education Kashmir, Srinagar.
The petition states that the J&K Board of School Education (BOSE) authorities conducts exams in summer as well as winter, in summer the students are made to undertake studies and exams in scorching heat without any fans in the classrooms. In winters the class rooms are cold and lack proper lighting facility as the days are shorter and darker especially during cloudy days.
“Irony is that Board authorities are conducting exams in a manner which even violates the basic human rights of the students,” the petition states.
The petition said that numerous videos, photos , posts have been shared on social and mainstream media disclosing the students taking exams under the “candle light” though handsome money is collected by BOSE authorities as examination fees from student community, while pointing out a report by Kashmir Reader newspaper (Nov 5th 2018) that the BOSE authorities have collected revenue to the tune of Rs 16.80 Crores.
The petition added that according to information provided by Chief Education Officer (CEO) Budgam, 1036 government schools out of total 1278 have no electricity connection in Budgam. There are similar number or more schools in Baramulla, Anantnag, Bandipora and other districts which are un-electrified and lack basic amenities like washrooms, drinking water facility and boundary walling which ought to have been provided.
The petitioner pleaded that no alternate system like solar lighting, heaters, or gas heaters, power generators have been put in place at least during examinations.
“The students are human beings and are entitled to these basic facilities denial whereof is a gross violation of human rights. The respondents owe an explanation to the society at large as also to this commission for not taking due care of millions of students,” the petition said.