Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao banners hang like a mockery at girls’ school in Shopian

Shopian: Despite having more than a hundred students, the government school at Hirpora village in Shopian district lacks almost all facilities, be it classrooms, fence wall, or adequate number of teachers.
According to locals, this government girls’ upper primary school was established in 1970s but due to the lackadaisical attitude of authorities, the students of this far-off village have never had opportunity to avail quality education.
Locals said that the director of school education came to the village but didn’t visit this school. They believe the reason was the lack of facilities in the school.
“The authorities have utilised an outdated structure of a Panchayat Ghar for the school but none of the rooms have doors or windows. One room even lacks a front wall,” said Showkat Ahmad, whose children study at the school.
On the walls of the school hang two big banners saying ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, the official slogan of the Government of India’s education policy. Locals do not miss the irony.
The three rooms of the unused Panchayat Ghar have neither doors nor windows. One of the rooms has no front wall, forcing students to attend classes without any cover from wind or rain.
Teachers from the school refused to talk on the state of affairs. All they said was that the number of enrolled students was 102 and nine different standards were taught.
Locals said that there are only six teachers for the nine classes in the school. They said that the washrooms are about to collapse as substandard material was used during construction and which has let snow water seep into it, damaging the walls and the slab.
Bashir Ahmad, a local resident, appealed to authorities that a fence wall and adequate class rooms be sanctioned for the school. “The area is prone to movement of wildlife, and a canal passes close by the school, which in absence of a boundary fence risks the lives of students,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that this government school is among the few schools in Shopian which has a satisfactory number of students. However, the number of school dropouts is also high compared to other areas.
Chief Education Officer Shopian, Mushtaq Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that this issue was not in his notice till now. “I will seek details from ZEO concerned and if there is need of building or any other thing, that will be done,” he said.

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