'Over 82% Govt schools in Kashmir electrified externally, 87% internally'

Greater Kashmir

The School Education Department has covered more than 82 percent of government schools with external electrification while 87 percent schools have internal electrification in Kashmir.

These figures were revealed by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) in a reply to an RTI query filed by M M Shuja.

The applicant had sought details about the schools which had been equipped with proper electricity facilities and drinking water facilities in Kashmir.

As per the official figures shared by the directorate, of around 10,788 government schools in Kashmir 8918 have been covered with external electrification.

“Only 1870 government schools in Kashmir are without external electrification,” the reply read.

The progress has been shown after years of delay by the School Education Department for electrification of all un-electrified government schools, from primary to higher secondary level, across Kashmir.

An official said the department earlier took up the matter with the Power Development Department (PDD) to chalk out a plan for completion of electrification of all government-run schools by 2019 end.

The process started months after the students of class 12th were forced to write their annual examination papers under solar lights, smart phone torches and candles in bone-chilling condition in November-December 2018 on a dark cloudy day.

The pictures of students writing the papers under the torch lights and candles went viral on social media and left the School Education Department embarrassed.

“The inconvenience faced by the candidates due to un-electrified government schools was a grim reminder about the lack of facilities in the schools across Jammu and Kashmir,” the official said.

Meanwhile, as per the official figures, 9467 government schools have been covered by the department with internal electrification while only 1321 are yet to be covered by the department.

According to the figures registered with the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), there are around 5710 primary schools, 3894 middle schools, 805 high schools and 379 higher secondary schools in Kashmir.

Of the 10,788 government schools, 9879 schools are getting proper facility of piped water while 909 schools are yet to be covered by the department.

“But all the schools have proper facilities for separate toilets for boys and girls,” the reply read.