Accommodation crunch a persistent problem in govt schools

5-yr plan formulated to overcome dearth of infrastructure: DSEK
Even if the schools witnessed a fruitful academic year of 220 days, on the other hand, there has been no improvement in filling the infrastructural gaps in these schools.
Even if the schools witnessed a fruitful academic year of 220 days, on the other hand, there has been no improvement in filling the infrastructural gaps in these schools.Special arrangement

Srinagar: The lack of accommodation for school going children in government schools across J&K has become a persistent problem as students of more than two classes continue to share one classroom in these schools. The scenario is taking a heavy toll on the quality education of the students who are deprived of proper classrooms in the schools.

The students of more than two to three classes, particularly in the primary section, are crammed in one room at a time when the School Education Department (SED) has surrendered around 660 school buildings to the other government departments.

These school buildings, as per the department, were surplus and remained unutilised for several years.

A fresh national Survey has revealed that 66.4 percent of class 4th students share a classroom with more than one class in J&K schools. The percentage of such students has increased from 52.1 percent as reported in 2018.

Similarly, the finding of the national report has revealed that around 72 percent students of class 2nd primary in government schools were sitting with one or more classes. Such a scenario in schools prevails at a time when the J&K Government last year declared 2022 as the year of academic transformation.

Even if the schools witnessed a fruitful academic year of 220 days, on the other hand, there has been no improvement in filling the infrastructural gaps in these schools.

Amid this, the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Tasaduq Hussain Mir said that the department said that the department had surplus buildings due to which around 660 school buildings were handed over to other government departments in the recent past.

"The problem was that the school buildings which we got in legacy were haphazardly constructed. One two to three school buildings were constructed in each village which were later not used," DSEK said.

He said the department has already clubbed various schools to rationalise the utilisation of the school buildings and teaching staff as well.

"We have formulated a five-year plan under which augmentation of the infrastructure in all the single room schools will be our priority. Every such school will get five to six classrooms," he said.

Notably, Greater Kashmir on Thursday reported that the primary class students have poorly performed in their reading abilities while the performance of the students has improved in arithmetic.

"We tried to check these reading gaps as we had a 220 days long academic session in 2022. We tried to fill the learning gaps of students and it is a continuous process to improve the results," DSEK said.

He however said that J&K has jumped from 18th to 7th position in the National Achievement Survey (NAS) ranking done in 2022 on the basis of the learning abilities of the students.

"In mathematics, we have figured at 3rd position," he said.

Meanwhile, about the complaints pouring against some private schools for holding Term-II exams in November, the DSEK said the exam to be conducted in March will be valid. "As per our reports some schools conducted a preparatory exam in November but  formal exams will be held in March," he said.

On adoption of JK Board published textbooks in private schools, the DSEK said the decision in this regard was taken in August last year and will be implemented from the upcoming academic session in schools.

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