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No toilets, drinking water for students but Govt claims turnaround in education sector

32,554 schools lack basic facilities; 3000 without Principals, teachers

*Enrolment less than 15 in over 3100 institutions

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 10: Though toilets, drinking water, laboratory, library and play fields are basic necessities of any educational institution yet thousands of Government schools in Jammu and Kashmir are lacking the same despite the tall claims of PDP-BJP Coalition Government about turnaround in the education sector. Not only these facilities, huge number of schools are even without Principals and subject teachers thereby putting a huge question mark on providing quality education to the pupils.
As per the figures of School Education Department, a total of 32,554 schools are without basic facilities like toilets, drinking water, own building, compound walling, laboratory, library and play ground etc, which otherwise are of immense importance for the benefit of the students.
A total of 232 schools-228 in Jammu and 4 in Kashmir don’t have toilet facility while as 2817 schools-2509 in Jammu and 308 in Kashmir valley are lacking drinking water facility. Similarly, a total of 3427 schools—1052 in Jammu and 2375 in Kashmir are without own buildings. Moreover, 11562 schools—7835 in Jammu and 3727 in Kashmir are without compound walling.
The figures further indicate that 470 schools-272 in Jammu and 198 in Kashmir valley don’t have laboratories while as 2014 schools-762 in Jammu and 1252 in Kashmir are without libraries. Similarly, 12032 schools—5005 in Jammu and 7027 in Kashmir are without play grounds.
What to talk of these basic facilities, the Government has even failed to provide Principal/ Headmaster and subject teachers in large number of schools thereby compromising on providing quality education to the students during the present era of stiff competition. This can be gauged from the official figures, which reveal that 245 schools-105 in Jammu and 140 in Kashmir don’t have Principal/ Head-master. Similarly, 2754 schools-1257 in Jammu and 1497 in Kashmir are without subject teachers.
This information was furnished in the Legislative Assembly by none else than the Education Minister Naeem Akhtar while responding to the question of BJP MLA from Ramnagar, Ranbir Singh Pathania.
This dismal scenario is notwithstanding the fact that present PDP-BJP Coalition Government is making tall claims about turnaround from bad to good in the education sector in a short span of two years. How the Government is boasting of providing quality education to the students and making them available all the facilities for extracurricular activities in the absence of these basic facilities remains a million dollar question.
“It seems that Government is trying to befool the masses by claiming turnaround in the education sector otherwise these figures are sufficient to prove the dismal scenario”, observers said.
Establishing that huge number of schools were actually meant for the comforts of the teachers instead of acting as temples of knowledge for the students, the official figures reveal that as in March 2015 the State had 146 schools with zero enrollment and more than 3000 schools with enrollment of less than 15. Moreover, 683 schools—476 in Jammu and 207 in Kashmir valley recorded less than 30% result.
As far as vacancies of Masters is concerned, the data indicates that situation is grim in remote areas because each and every employee of the Education Department wants to be posted in urban areas least bothering about the future of the students of far-off areas.
This can be gauged from the reply of Education Minister furnished in the Legislative Assembly in response to the question of MLA Bani Jeevan Lal. Against 60 posts of Masters lying vacant in entire Kathua district, 21 are in Bani Zone and 7 in Malhar Zone.
This is notwithstanding the fact that Education Department has framed Transfer Policy which envisages rotation of officials from Zone-I to Zone-II and posting in Zone-II involves change of residence. Moreover, the post of Master falls in Divisional Cadre and officials of this cadre are required to serve anywhere in the division as per administrative requirement.
If the Education Department is strictly adhering to this Transfer Policy then why such a large number of posts are lying vacant is a million dollar question for the Government.

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