A modest but beautiful single-storey building with a well-maintained square lawn dotted with flowers is the government-run primary school at Peerpora.
Located at the periphery of southern Kashmir’s Shopian district, the school has become a model of quality education despite paucity of both staff and space it must contend with.
The three classrooms that accommodate eighty students are well decorated. The walls of each room are treated with posters, charts of different sorts and paintings that quickly grab your attention.
“The ambience plays an important role in the learning process. You cannot engage a student in a dull or dingy classroom,” says one of the teachers at the school.
The school has banned junk food and students are strictly instructed to bring only healthy and homemade food with them.
“You can’t see any student eating unhealthy snacks in the school premises. We also refrain from using polythene here,” said Nazir Ahmad, head teacher of the school.
In government schools students usually sit squat on mats laid out of the floor, but not in this one.
“With the help of higher authorities, we managed to furnish the school with benches and chairs,” said Ahmad, adding that enrolment shot up significantly over a few years because of how the school is run and maintained.
” …And now we are facing shortage of accommodation and staff. We are just three teachers managing six classes in three rooms.”
Ahmad was happy to add that another room had now been provided by to his school by the local panchayat.
Residents of the Peerpora village of 150 households said that they did not prefer to send their children to private schools, contrary to the story most other places.
“This school is doing better than any privately-run modern school both in terms of curriculum and discipline,” said Irhad Ahmad, a resident.
Chief Education Officer, Mohammad Mushtaq, said that he would try to address the grievance of this well-run government school soon.