Govt gears up for winter schooling

Srinagar, Dec 9: In the run up to the continuation of schooling in Kashmir during winter, the Department of School Education has started preparations on ground, directing educational heads of the ...

Srinagar, Dec 9: In the run up to the continuation of schooling in Kashmir during winter, the Department of School Education has started preparations on ground, directing educational heads of the Valley districts to ensure procurement of the required paraphernalia by December 15.
Though the department is awaiting release of funds for the purchases, the heads of the educational institutions have been asked to borrow loan from the local funds to meet the expenses. Besides, authorities asserted that under Rashtriya Madyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) scheme Rs 25,000 have been released for each High School and Higher Secondary School to carry out the minor repair works, wherever required.
However the schools housed in rented buildings can't utilize the amount on any kind of repairs. For such institutions temporary arrangements could be made to counter the chill.
While the Department had initially proposed Rs 6.4 crores for procuring the facilities to continue with the schooling during two and a half months winter period in Kashmir and Ladakh, authorities said the program was dropped in case of Ladakh. Now the decision would be implemented for 523 High Schools and 272 Higher Secondary Schools of the Valley.
Each HS and HSS has been asked to purchase maximum of six and eight coal heaters (Bukharis) respectively.
"The hard-coke requirement has been fixed at eight kilograms per day per heater for 76 days plus two kilograms of rejected wood per facility per day. Besides every educational institution would be allowed to hire a labor for Rs 120 per day to operate the facilities," officials said. In addition every educational institution would be provided Rs 10,000 as lifting and transport charges for the material.
Senior officials of the Department including Director School Education conveyed a meeting of the Chief Educational Officers from all the districts on Wednesday and the directions were passed about implementation of the orders on ground.
"The heads of educational institutions (Principals/headmasters) have been authorized to meet the expenses for purchasing coal heaters and required facilities from local funds. Government has agreed in principal to releases the approved money," they said.
The heads have been asked to furnish the list of the teachers to be engaged during the period and the department is likely to issue order canceling any leave for engaged teacher during the winter period, except in case of emergency.
Addressing a meeting of heads of High and Higher Secondary schools of the Srinagar district, the CEO, Ghulam Hassan Malik said no leave would be sanctioned in favor of any engaged teacher except in case of emergency.
He said the department has fixed the school timing for the period from 11 am to 3 pm. "Wearing of uniforms by the students has not been made mandatory and no morning assemblies would be held," he said.
While the Ladakh programme was dropped, officials said the government has agreed in principal to release the required Rs 5 crore plus funds for the Valley schools.
While the highest of Rs 1. 05 crore has been proposed for procuring facilities for educational Institutions in Baramulla district, the proposed fund requirement was lowest, Rs 20 lakh for Shopian district.
"The fund requirement was projected depending on the number of educational institutions existing in a particular district," officials said.

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