Education in Kupwara | Top in enrollment, 'mediocre' in infrastructure

During the recent enrolment drive Education department in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district topped entire Jammu and Kashmir by enrolling 27,000 students in different government schools but it could end up in a fiasco due to lack of infrastructure and basic amenities in most institutions.

The department said that 2500 students who were studying in various private schools were also admitted in government schools.

However, the authorities have not taken any measures to ensure the basic facilities in most government schools.

In several government schools across the district, lack of drinking water facility, playground, compound fence, defunct washrooms, school buildings with broken windows and doors and improper seating arrangements can be a telling factor for all these schools to retain the newly-enrolled students.

Upper Primary School Braripora which comes within the jurisdiction of Municipal Committee Handwara has enrolled the highest number of students this year in entire Handwara Education Zone.

Sixty four students were registered in the school, most of them in the age group of 3-5 years.

Previously, the school had only 17 students but with the newly-transferred teachers there, it has seen a rise in enrollment. However, with the defunct washrooms and school building with broken windows and doors it would be a litmus test for the school administration to retain the new entrants.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Village Education Committee (VEC) head, Ghulam Ahmad War said that the deplorable condition of the school building had been brought to the notice of the authorities time and again but to no avail.

“It is indeed exemplary on the teachers’ part who managed to admit a good number of students. However, on seeing the condition of the school it seems difficult that the students can be retained,” said War. “It is the tale of almost every government school and this is the reason why parents prefer private educational institutions over government-run schools.”

He said the government should come up with a policy of overhauling the present educational scenario, be it proper facilities or quality education to students.

Chief Education Officer (CEO), Kupwara, Abdul Hamid Fani said that it was the collective responsibility of the teachers and locals to take measures for the protection of school buildings across the district.

Talking about the lack of basic amenities and deplorable condition of the Upper Primary School Braripora’s building, Fani said he would personally look into the matter.

“Whatsoever needs to be done will be done within the shortest possible time,” he said.