The enrollment of girl students in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) schools has fallen over the years, in a major challenge for J&K School Education department to keep these residential schools functional.
As per official figures, around 39.5 percent seats are vacant in the KGBV schools in J&K. The enrollment has gone down by two percent in the last two years.
The figures reveal that 2,430 seats were vacant against 6,150 available seats in 88 operational KGBV Type-I schools in J&K.
“21 of the 100 seats are vacant in one KGBV Type-IV school,” read the minutes of the meeting released by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
The issue of vacant seats in KGBV schools was discussed in Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting chaired by Secretary School Education of MHRD in June this year.
The meeting was convened to consider the annual work plan and budget (AWP&B), 202O-21 for J&K. As already reported by Greater Kashmir, around 37 percent seats were lying vacant in KGBVs in 2018. However the number of the vacant seats has increased by two percent in the last two years.
An official said the government has not also filled the vacant non-teaching posts in these KGBV schools.
“The Union ministry had expressed concern over the vacant seats in 2017 but till date the department has failed to increase the enrollment in these residential schools,” the official said.
The KGBV is a centrally sponsored scheme introduced by the Government of India to provide educational facilities for girls belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, minority communities and families below the poverty line in educationally backward blocks (EBB).
“But the department has failed to set up permanent campuses and increase enrollment in these institutions with the result the purpose of the scheme is not been achieved,” the official said.
He said the department has not been able to complete construction of 64 KGBV buildings in Type-I and construction of three schools was yet to start. Similarly, under Type-IV schools, 50 buildings have not been completed.
“After PAB meeting which was held in June, the department has started construction work on the buildings to set up a permanent campus. But work on majority of them is still incomplete,” the official said.