The Government Upper Primary School Braripora in Handwara lacks accommodation and basic amenities, making students suffer at large.
The school runs from a dilapidated building with broken windows and doors.
There are only seven classrooms for 10 classes with over 75 students enrolled in the school.
“Last year, we managed to enroll over 50 new students in our school and hoped that the authorities will take concrete steps to renovate the building but nothing materialised,” an official said.
“This year we also held an enrollment drive but could not impress more students and only four new students were enrolled. The parents seem dissatisfied with the lack of basic amenities here. Even those we had enrolled the last year have started leaving the school citing lack of basic amenities.”
The locals said that the lack of infrastructure and “blocked washrooms” would never impress parents to enroll their children here.
They said that though a new building was constructed and handed over to the department in 2016, the same year its roof got damaged with heavy snowfall and had not been renovated to date.
Locals said that the old building from where the school operates presently also lacks fencing, making it a safe shelter for animals and drug addicts.
Village Education Committee (VEC) Head Ghulam Ahmad War said that the dilapidated condition of the school building had been brought to the notice of the authorities time and again but to no avail.
He said that it was the tale of every government school and that was why parents prefer private educational institutions over government schools.
“The government should come up with a strong policy of overhauling the present educational scenario, be it proper facilities or quality education to the students,” War said.
The locals said that they brought these issues to the notice of the concerned officials on numerous occasions but to no avail.
They appealed to Director of School Education Kashmir to look into their demands and address their grievance at the earliest.
Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) Handwara, Shabir Ahmad Badhana said that it was the collective responsibility of the department and locals to take measures for the protection of the school building.
Talking about the lack of basic amenities and dilapidated condition of the school building, he said that he would personally look into the matter.
“Whatsoever needs to be done will be done within the shortest period,” Badhana said.