Despite government claims to have prioritized strengthening of education sector, poor state of infrastructure in government-run schools coupled with official indifference continue to hamper the growth of this vital sector.
Government High School Bemina which was upgraded to the level of higher secondary in March last year invited registrations for admissions in higher classes this year. However, the school authorities say that the school lacks adequate infrastructure and needs more classrooms to accommodate new admissions.
The local people’s representative body – Bemina Development and Welfare Forum (BDWF) – accused district administration Budgam of failing to allot land for construction of new school building.
“There is no space to construct new block at the existing school location. Lack of space was always projected as hurdle for upgradation of the school. That is when we suggested identifying and allotting few kanals of land out of state land for this purpose and for construction of PHC and fire station,” said Syed Tahir Ali, secretary of BDWF. “The land measuring 30 kanals was identified for this purpose and the file was sent to the DC office Budgam. Months have passed, but no action has been taken in this regard and the file continues to gather dust there.”
Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, another member of BDWF, rued that if the government can transfer state land or even wetland for the construction of housing colonies and duck farms, what is stopping the authorities from allotting state land for the higher secondary.
The school, established in 1960 as primary school, is one of the first schools in Budgam. After nearly three decades, it was upgraded to the level of higher secondary in March 2019.
“In March last year, SAC had delegated powers regarding transfer of state land to the government departments to speed up development projects. The order had authorized Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to transfer state land to government departments for public purposes and other development projects.”
The BDWF has urged the divisional and district administration Budgam to transfer the land without further delay.