40 percent seats lying vacant in J&K residential schools for girl students

Srinagar: Nearly 40 percent seats at the special residential schools meant for girl students hailing from economically weaker sections (EWS)in Jammu and Kashmir are lying vacant.
The government of India had sanctioned 99 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) for the erstwhile J&K state in 2009.
However, as per the Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting of Samagra Shiksha for 2019-20 for J&K held by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in June last year, 2625 seats, which constitute 39.2 percent of the targeted enrolment of 6700 at the KGBVs, were lying vacant.
The MHRD has asked the J&K government to fill up all vacant seats in KGBVs “so that the capacity can be fully utilized”.
During the academic session 2018-19, 2,427 seats had remained vacant at the KGBVs.
Officials at the J&K directorate of the Samagra Shiksha, which runs the KGBVs in the union territory, attributed the low enrolment of girls at the residential schools to “security reasons”.
The parents, they said, do not send their girls to these schools as a result of which there were fewer girls at the schools.
Another official said that many such schools in the valley did not have boundary walls due to which many parents don’t send their daughters to these institutes.
“That is why most of the schools are non-residential in Kashmir,” he added.
Meanwhile, as per the minutes of this year’s PAB meeting, the MHRD has said that the J&K government had failed to complete the construction work on 76 KGBV buildings in Type I and 73 KGBV buildings in Type IV.
An official told Kashmir Reader that once the union Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) sanctioned the schools in 2009, the state government consistently failed to identify land for majority of the proposed school buildings as a result of which most of the schools were running from rented buildings.
“In the meantime, there was an escalation in the cost of building the schools,” he added.
The MHRD had in 2017 asked the J&K government to create awareness about KGBVs by involving representatives from local authority and community at large and to see to it that maximum seats were filled at the girl schools.

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