Situated at a distance of one kilometer from the highway, government middle school S K colony Qamarwari is functioning from the ground floor of a building which houses a trouser factory in its upper storey.
The school, located on the backside of the police housing colony, has only four rooms for eight classes in the ground floor. To accommodate students, the teachers have partitioned a room into four sections. One room serves as school office as well as staffroom for the teaching faculty. "At times we take classes in the open," said a teacher.
As per the roll statement, four students are in class 8th, 11 in 7th, 6 in class 6th, while class 5 has seven students, and two each students are in class 3rd and 4th primary. Three and 10 students are respectively in 2nd and 1st primary.
The government has accommodated two schools in the four rooms of the building – Government Middle School SK colony Qamarwari and Government primary school Qamarwari. The total number of the students enrolled here is 42 including 22 non local students. The department has posted 15 teachers for these two schools.
"Primary school Qamarwari was merged with this school some years ago as it had no students on roll but two teachers were posted here. The actual staff position of this school is nine but department has deployed six teachers here," said a teacher of the school which falls under the jurisdiction of zone Batamaloo. Among 15 faculty members only one is male and the rest of staff members include females. "Every teacher wants to get posted there as the enrollment of students is less. The department has shifted teachers from other districts and dumped them in this school under the pretext of 'security reasons'," an official said wishing not to be named.
The students are served Mid-Day Meals (MDM) on the pavement of the ground floor which gets mixed with the dust blowing up from the pavement. "What can teachers do in a school which lacks even the basic facilities," a teacher posted in the school said. "This school has no facilities and we can't set up proper seating arrangements for these students."
As the machines start working in the first floor of the building, the classrooms in the ground floor start shaking. "When the machines start, the walls of classrooms start shacking here which creates a very chaotic situation," the teacher said.
The building is the property of local mosque but the factory according to teachers is more profitable than the school for the local mosque committee. The monthly rent of factory is Rs 15000 and the owner pays it on time every month, while as the monthly rent of the school is Rs 5400. "But the department delays the payment of rent due to which the local committee often threaten to lock the school. They pay the rent once in three or four months," the school teacher said.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), G N Itoo didn't respond to repeated calls for his comment.