Government schools in J&K devoid of water, power, and playgrounds; Naeem Akhtar must reform, rehaul

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The condition of government schools in Jammu and Kashmir has gone from bad to worse in the last one decade, and the situation is particularly bad in rural and hilly parts of the state. A report by Union HRD ministry has revealed the poor condition of infrastructure, and facilities in the government run schools. Already a state government report has indicted the Higher education department of running the higher secondary schools in Jammu division as per the whims and fancy of the politicians, and the bureaucrats. The union government report comes as a double whammy and tells that 70 per cent of the schools in the state are without power. What is more shocking is that that 60 per cent schools in the state that is 17,167 schools out of 28,765 schools are without playgrounds. The students of these schools as such are devoid of any playing facilities, and this is nothing but a mockery of the Right To Education which ensures quality education to the children our country, and the state. The questions now being asked are when these schools don’t have playgrounds than what is the use of of buying sports equipment and supplying to these schools.

The lack of playgrounds has also lead to a situation where various union government schemes to promote sports have failed to take off. Government teachers allege that despite repeated demands to higher authorities no action is taken to develop sports facilities even when land is available with the school. In a number of schools the land is available but there is no vision to develop it, and help the students become accomplished in sports. Another teacher opines that sports in school also helps the children to learn discipline, team spirit, and other qualities which are very useful later in life.

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It has also been found that almost 10,000 schools in Jammu and Kashmir are without toilets though the Jammu and Kashmir government, and officials contradict these numbers but the situation is quite bad accept the teacher. It also a fact that a large number of girl students discontinue education because there are no proper toilet facilities in their schools. Not only this the students are also facing trouble because almost three thousand of these institutions don’t have drinking water facilities.

The need of the hour as such for the new government is look seriously into the functioning of these schools, and ensure that these do not become a parking place for the wives, and relatives of the rich, and famous or those who are well connected. Hundreds of crores of tax money is being spent on these schools, and payment of salaries to government teachers, and if the ROI on these schools in terms of quality education is negative than it’s better that these should either be closed or run with private partnership.