Tral school runs from unsafe building, lacks facilities

Students attending classes under open sky in Tral. —Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
Students attending classes under open sky in Tral. —Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, June 22: Notwithstanding the tall claims of the Government to improve the infrastructure in education sector in the State, Government Boys High School Manchama in South Kashmir’s Tral area is running from an unsafe building and lacks basic facilities.
Located on the fringes of Tral town, the school lacks basic facilities including washrooms, proper approach road, and fencing wall. With two rooms each, the school runs from three descript buildings that have been declared unsafe by the Government.
The school operates from five rooms, accommodating over 175 students. Out of the five rooms, two have been dedicated to the office and library respectively, while eleven classes are operating from three rooms. To meet the space constants the teachers have bisected each room with a thin cardboard sheet, distracting the class work. The teachers have also converted the corridor of the building into a makeshift classroom where three-four classes are held daily.
Some of the classes are held under the open sky that pose a threat to the lives of the students as school shares boundary with the nearby forests. “As the school lacks a boundary wall, there is always a threat of bear attacks. We have to take extra care while taking classes,” a teacher said.
Established in 1943, the school caters to the several tribal villages and students with weaker economic background are enrolled in the school. One such student, Zakir Jan told Excelsior that they have to study in scorching heat under an open sky adding that the students are forced to defecate in open due to lack of washrooms.
Zakir Hussain, a teacher, told Excelsior that inadequate space affects the quality of education. “We have just three rooms for nine classes. We have to engage 3, 4 classes under open sky every day. Sometimes we run three-four classes together which affect the class work. We have 44 students in 9th class only,” he said.
Chief Education Officer Pulwama, Naseem Khatib, when contacted said that the proposal for the creation of new infrastructure was forwarded to the Government in the month of March this year. “We have sent a proposal and are expecting an approval soon. Once approval is granted the construction work will follow,” he said, adding the school has been recently upgraded to High School and the department immediately sent a proposal for the upgradation of the infrastructure.