Anantnag: Three government run schools, two middle and a primary, are housed in a three room rundown building. One of the rooms is utilised for office purposes while remaining two are used as classrooms. This is another story of sorry state of affairs afflicting our Education Department.
In all there are 62 students, merged from eight classes of these schools, crammed into three-room set. Staff members, eight in number, have just one 9×12 room to retire to and conduct official business as well. This model school is located at Mandipora village in Dooru zone of Anantnag district.
Government Primary School Herpora, Dooru was established in 2013 and Govt. Middle School, Chambran in 2003. Interestingly Govt. Middle School, Wandipora was established way back in 1969.
Residents told Kashmir Observer that initially the two schools, Wandipora Middle School and Chambran Middle School were functioning from a rundown building which was on the verge of collapse after developing cracks in 2015 earthquake. After many pleas to higher authorities the schools were finally shifted and attached to GPS Herpora in May 2016.
We are facing space crunch and cant give proper accommodation facilities to the students enrolled here. During the class the teacher usually sits on a chair while the students from all the three different classes, remain huddled around him. This often causes chaos and confusion, said a teacher.
The people accuse us of not teaching their students well, said another teacher in the primary school. You tell us, how can we teach three classes together and that too at one time? he said wishing not to be named.
The teacher said that their repeated pleas with the higher authorities have elicited no concrete response. The higher authorities have been telling us that they will arrange a spacious place for the schools but nothing has happened so far, he said.
The teachers said that they usually conduct the classes of one group under open sky while the students of another class are kept inside the building. On one day we take classes of students from 1st primary to third primary under open sky while as the students of 4th and 5th class are adjusted in one room, said Farooq Hussain, principal of Middle School, adding that the routine changes the other day in which 4th ad 5th class students are made to sit in a classroom under open sky. But during rains or inclement weather conditions, the rooms remain congested and students are forced to take classes in a random manner.
Shazia Jan, who is a class 8th student here wanted to convey this message to authorities. She told Kashmir Observer that all they want is a proper classroom, a washroom and a playground.
When Kashmir Observer asked chief education officer Anantnag about the situation at these schools clubbed together, he refused to comment on facilities available to students and the staff there, saying, We are trying our best to reconstruct the old building which was damaged by the earthquake.
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