In this high school, kitchen doubles up as classroom

Such is the state of infrastructure for the government high school at Bankoot in Bandipora district that some students are forced to take classes in the kitchen that also serves as a store room.

Students of class 6th were crammed up in one corner of the kitchen where tea is simultaneously be prepared on a gas stove in another corner.

“What can we learn in such a school environment where students are taught in the kitchen? One can only imagine the trauma students are going through,” said Insha Manzoor, a student of class 6th.

She said that on one side the government is bragging about providing state-of-the-art infrastructure and smart classroom to the students and on the other side they even fail to provide basic infrastructure to the government schools in far off places.

“In one corner of the small room meals and tea is being prepared on the gas stove while in the other corner students are being imparted lessons by the teachers,” said Auqib, another student of class 6th.

The school Bankoot was established in 1963 as a middle school for a huge population its adjoining villages including Panar, Tanghat, Pazalpora, and Athwatoo.

The school was later upgraded to high school in November 2005; however its infrastructure and staff remained as if it was still a middle school.

Students at the school also rued lack of basic facilities in like drinking water, electricity and a washroom.

The school has just six classrooms for 400 students. Residents said that in 2013 a two-room building was constructed under the constituency development fund of the then MLA Bandipora but the building is yet to be handed over to the school authorities.

“The admission process in the school is still going on and we wonder where we will accommodate those students who are seeking admission in this school,” said teacher who wished not to be named.

“Five years ago two additional rooms were constructed in the school premises but they are yet to be be handed over to the school.”

Chief education officer for Bandipora, Javid Iqbal said he recently joined his duty in the district and was unaware of the situation of the school.

“If the students have a genuine problem it would be addressed,” Iqbal said.