Lack of infrastructure affects education in Baramulla school

Dilapidated condition of GMS Zogiyar in Baramulla district. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Waseem Ahmad
Srinagar, Sept 5: Presenting the grim picture of education sector in the State, Government Boys Middle School Zogiyar in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district craves for basic infrastructure including classrooms and toilets.
Located only 7 kilometers from Baramulla town, the school has only four shabby classrooms and one toilet available for about 61 students and nine teachers.
Out of four buildings, only two are functional as one has not been handed over yet due to a tussle between the contractor and the Education Department and another was constructed recently but lacks furnishing.
The school has four classrooms available for nine classes and that too are in pathetic condition with broken and defaced walls, no matting and no proper roof making students as well as teachers to suffer.
Students said that they have to face various hardships as the school has four toilets but only one is functional. They complained that the three toilets are blocked and broken for years now and no efforts were made to restore these toilets. “The school has only one common toilet for students as well as for teachers. We have to share the same toilet with boys and male teachers that becomes very uncomfortable for us,” Nazima Jan, one of the girl students said.
The teachers said that they had already approached Zonal Education Officer’s (ZEO) office with the issue and were assured Rs 20,000 for the repairing of the toilets but the amount was not released yet.
As per the teachers of the school, the basic structure of the new building for the school was completed seven years ago but the contractor refused to work further as the pending amount of Rs 45,000 was not released to him by the Education Department.
“The building was almost complete but the contractor claimed that the department is not clearing his pending bills worth Rs 45,000, so he refused to work further and left it midway. We approached the officials of the Education Department with the issue, they convinced the contractor to complete the pending construction work but the work was never resumed,” one of the teachers of the school said.
Besides classrooms and toilets, the school lacks proper road connectivity, electricity, clean drinking water, playground and fencing.
The ZEO, Mohammad Haneef and Chief Education Officer (CEO) Baramulla, Abdul Ahad feigned ignorance about the matter. “I am not aware about the condition of the school. I will instruct the ZEO to visit the school and solve the issues as soon as possible. I will personally look into the matter. We are waiting for the funds. As soon as the funds are released, schools will be renovated,” CEO Baramulla said.