In Panjani village along Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar sub-division of Poonch district, twenty-five students enrolled presently have to study under open sky amid escalating tensions with the education department failing to construct the much required building of the institution that was established in 1974-75.
Panjani, a village of Balakote tehsil of Mendhar sub-division in Poonch district, falls under Dhratipanchayat and is last village of Poonch district sharing its boundary with Nakyal tehsil in Kotli district of PaK and the village is also located ahead of barbed wire fence of Line of Control and near Pak army’s LoC posts.
Villagers told Greater Kashmir that Government Primary School Panjani was established in 1974-75 to ensure basic education for students living under the shadow of guns on LoC.
“In earlier years, school was run from its own building but later the land donor woman took the matter to court after which building where school was being run was handed over to the donor,” villagers said.
They added that the later department took a single room on rent and also started construction of a new building in 2005-2006 under SaravShikshaAbhiyaan.
“This new building comprising two rooms and one kitchen was taken upto lintel level but the roof was not laid and since then it is standing incomplete and has turned useless.” villagers including Nazeem Ahmed, Javaid Mohammad and others said.
“Our students sit in the open as there is no building of school and part of a house where school is being run on a rent basis is also not adequate.” the irked villagers said. They added, ” You just cannot imagine the plight of our children. We have no mobile connectivity, shelling and firing on LoC is a new normal and our students sit under open sky with bullets and mortar shells flying over their heads.”
It is not less than pushing our students into death well on the name of sending them to school, villagers further said.
Deputy Chief Education Officer, Mendhar Lal Hussain, confirmed that the Government Primary School Panjani is not having a building of its own.
“We run the school from a makeshift campus inside a house as our own building of school is incomplete.” said the officer.
“We have forwarded a detailed report over it to higher authorities with recommendation to start a new building of school as students not only sit under open sky but face risk as school is located in a village which is on zero line.” Deputy CEO said.