Government fails to upgrade infrastructure of 100 year old school in Sopore

Overcrowded classes, missed subjects, no vocational course becomes norm

Over 1700 students of a century old school in North Kashmir's Sopore town have been left in a lurch as the authorities have failed to augment the school infrastructure despite promising an additional building.

Established in 1917, the Government girls higher secondary school is located in the heart of Sopore town and it celebrated 100th anniversary last year. The event was attended by top officials of the education department including the then advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganaie, who assured the school authority of sanctioning one additional building for the institution so that space scarcity issue is addressed well.

"The then advisor to the Governor sanctioned Rs one crore for the additional building and assured that the building will be constructed soon. However, till date the construction work has not been started," said Haneefa Begum, Principal of the Sopore.

The officials of the school administration said that there are only 17 rooms in the institution which includes office, class rooms and laboratory rooms. They said that institution being located in the heart of the Sopore town has a huge roll of over 1700 students. And to accommodate them all and provide unhindered quality education has become a big challenge for the school management.

"We often face issues in the class rooms. In the absence of enough space, three to four students are forced to sit on a single bench which otherwise is meant for just two students," said one of the students of the institute.

One of the lecturer said that due to space scarcity, "we are forced to conduct classes in shifts. There is no classroom available for Persian and Arabic students."

The institution recently decided to start two vocational courses, 'cutting and tailoring' and 'Beauty and Wellness'. The aim of the two new vocational courses is to impart skill training to the girl students so that they can earn their livelihood besides provide employment to others also.

However, owing to space scarcity, the institution is unable to start these two vocational courses. "The skill trainer for the beauty and wellness has been made available besides equipments for the cutting and tailoring had been procured but there is no room available for the courses. It has resulted in a delay to start the two courses," said Principal of the institution.

The school administration has urged the higher authorities to initiate the work on the already sanctioned three storey building. They said the additional building will be of great help to overcome the space scarcity.

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Greater Kashmir