Signifying messy state of affairs in Education sector, four government schools in Srinagar are functioning under a single roof of a congested building at Karan Nagar here.
The school education department in 2015 accommodated these schools from different parts of Old City on "temporary basis" in a single building. Since then these institutions continue to operate from this building.
The building, were the four government schools have been shifted also houses National High School Srinagar. The schools comprise Government Middle Schools (GMS) Tankipora, Chinkral Mohalla, Chota Bazar and Government High School (GHS) Zaindar Mohalla. "You are authorized to shift GHS Zaindar Muhalla which has been declared unsafe by the R&B department to the National High School till other arrangements are made," reads a letter shot to Headmaster Zaindar Muhalla in July 2015.
The schools, according to officials, were shifted to the building of National School Srinagar after September 2014 floods hit Kashmir. However, the school education department is yet to make arrangements for the schools at their respective places. "Two years have passed but the schools continue to function under single roof," the officials said.
Shifting of the schools from their respective places, according to the teachers, has resulted in dwindling of the enrollment of students in the schools. "The small children found it inconvenient to reach here for schooling and left the school. Even the response for new admissions is very poor which has decreased the enrollment of the students in these schools here," said a teacher wishing not to be named.
All the four schools are operating from the second floor of the building and have occupied almost over a dozen rooms of the building. "We have merged the classes of four schools and our arrival register is monitored by the headmaster of the Zaindar Muhalla Higher Secondary. Administration related issues are being dealt separately by the concerned school heads here," the teachers said.
Principal National High School Srinagar, Abdul Aziz, said the department has not paid any rent from the past two years to the school management despite occupying over a dozen rooms of the school building.
"In 2015, the officials in school education department said the schools will be accommodated on temporary basis but more than two years have passed and the schools are still functioning from here," Aziz said.
The enrolment of GHS Zaindar Muhalla is 25 for which the school education department has posted around 15 teachers.
Likewise, the enrollment in GMS Chota Bazzar is 35 while the staff strength of the school is four. The enrollment in GMS Chinkral Muhalla is 43 while as the Directorate of School Education Kashmir has posted six teachers for the school. "All the four schools have an enrollment of over 120 students with more than 25 teachers," officials said.
As per the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) norms, the teacher pupil ratio in Government Primary Schools should be 1:30 followed by 1:35 in Government Middle Schools and 1:40 in Secondary schools.
Meanwhile, a top official in Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) said the delay in shifting of schools to their original places was due to the lack of government accommodation. "They were shifted on temporary basis to National School after 2014 floods. The department is yet to construct buildings for the schools and has not identified any alternate accommodations as well," the official said wishing not to be named.