Depicting the grim scenario of the education sector in the Jammu and Kashmir, a government-run Middle School in Dargam Pattan area of district Baramulla has only two rooms for 120 students up to 8th standard.
Government Boys Middle School Dargam is located in a far flung village of Nihalpora zone of Pattan Baramulla—where neither the education department nor the state administration is taking any pains to lessen the problems faced by the student community past several years. The verandah of school is also used as for teaching students.
According to locals the school was set up as a primary school and later on upgraded as middle school in 1996. Besides lack of classrooms and infrastructure they said that the school building has developed cracks in walls after the 2005 earthquake.
The school has students up to 8th standard and around 120 students are enrolled in the school.
"For 120 students, there are only 2 classrooms. Most of the times, students can be seen studying on a verandah of the school. Despite claims of streamlining the education sector, government is not taking any initiatives to provide a new school building for the students of Dargam Pattan," Abdul Rasheed Mir, a local said.
Teachers at Government Middle School Dargam said that in sunny days, classes are taken under open sky as combined classes are creating problems for the students.
“We are made to sit like cattle inside the classrooms. Sometimes even 3 classes are combined together and 3 teachers take classes simultaneously. We can't even gather a single word. In sunny days, teachers take us out under open sky and dust, sunlight, cow dung makes us to suffer more,” a class 8th student said.
The students requested Director Education, Kashmir and CEO Baramulla to visit the school and see the problems faced by the students.
Locals said that they have been knocking the doors of education department for past many years with a plea to sanction a new building for the school but nothing has been done so far.
Abida Mansoor, Zonal Education Officer Nihalpora Baramulla said the location identified by people of the area is not feasible for construction purpose.
“The land identified by people is on a Nallah bank, so it is not feasible for construction. We are already aware of the situation. Few days back we had a meeting and a proposal was issued to the higher authorities for a double story building within the school premises so that the students won't suffer any more,” ZEO Nihalpora said.
She said that for time being the classes will be shifted to a rented building so that precious study time of students is saved. “We will shift the classes in a rented building. We have identified a building also,” she said.