Belying the tall claims of the successive regimes for taking education sector to new heights, majority of the government-run schools in J&K state are without proper infrastructure for students.
Over the years, the authorities in the education departmenthave made tall claims of the filling up the infrastructural gaps but the groundsituation in schools depicts a grim picture.
Most of the students sit on floor in their classrooms giventhe department's failure to equip schools with proper seating arrangement forstudents, particularly primary classes.
In April this year, the directorate of SamagraShiksha hadstarted distribution of dual desks for the students enrolled in high and highersecondary schools. However most of the schools are yet to receive the desksfrom the department.
"Directorate of SamagraShiksha has placed order with SICOPfor supply of furniture (dual desks) for secondary and senior secondaryschools. All the CEOS and ZEOs are requested to receive the supplies strictlyas per the fixed specifications," reads a circular issued in April this year.
State project Director SamagraShiksha, Arun Kumar Manhassaid they will complete the target of providing desks and benches to studentsin secondary and senior secondary schools within next two months.
"During previous years the department distributed desks andbenches among some students of class 8th. During the current financial year, wehave proposed to government of India that classroom furniture be provided forall students from class 6th to 8th," he said.
Earlier, Greater Kashmir reported that poor infrastructurewas badly hampering the growth of government-run schools in Kashmir. In wake ofthis, a circular was issued to all chief education officers (CEOs) to furnishdetails of requirement of furniture for students. Later, the issue was shelvedfor unknown reasons.
In Baramulla district, only 50 to 60 percent schools haveproper seating arrangement for school children while as rest of the studentsare deprived of the facility.
An official in civil secretariat said the department iscompletely dependent on grants provided by government of India under variousschemes for equipping schools with proper furniture and other facilities."State doesn't have any funds to carry out such activities," he said.
The department had earlier claimed that the 50 percent ofthe schools will have proper furniture for students by the month of July whileas 100 percent target will be completed by March 2020.
A top source in department said the students enrolled up toprimary level schools are yet to be enlisted for the facility of classroomfurniture.
"The department is struggling to cover high and highersecondary schools with classroom furniture. The middle schools are yet to becovered," the official said.
However, state project director Samagra said the furnitureis being provided in a phased manner. "The department will provide classroomfurniture for students in all schools including primary classes by the end of2020," he said.