Two decades on, new school buildings left to rot in Handwara

Incomplete school building in Vadipora area of Handwara in Kupwara district. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Incomplete school building in Vadipora area of Handwara in Kupwara district. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, Mar 7: The new school buildings that were being constructed for Government Higher Secondary and Girls Middle Schools in Vadipora area of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district have been left to decay by the Education Department.
Nearly two decades have passed since the construction work on the buildings began but the executing agency left it midway for unknown reasons. “They have not completed the building despite money being released. The roof has not been installed on the building and due to which it has become dilapidated. Strangely, the contractors were paid money despite not completing the project,” a local said.
The locals said that the condition of the buildings clearly depicts the non-seriousness of the department towards the education of remote areas. “The condition of building stands testimony to the state of affairs in the Education department. The structure has decayed before being put to use. What about the funds that went into its making”? another local asked.
The buildings could improve the education infrastructure in schools but official apathy marred the project. “The condition of these Government schools is so bad that they do not have a single room. I teach two classes. There is no seating arrangement in these schools. So, the children are forced to seek admissions in private schools where they pay huge amounts for attaining education,” a teacher said.
The issue came to light after some teachers wrote to the concerned officials about the infrastructure deficit in the school. In response, the administration formed two members to look into the issue, but they are yet to file a report.
“We have sought details from the Rural Development Department about the work. We have asked them for administrative approval and billing details of the project. We are finding out facts,” Zonal Education Officer Rajwar, Shabir Ahmad, who is also a member of the committee said.