‘3000 students can’t reach schools’
While all government and private schools are set to resume academics after almost seven months, more than 50 schools in north Kashmir are cut off and yet to re-open due to the accumulated snow.
In the frontier district of Kupwara, the accumulated snow in courtyard and roofs of many schools has not been cleared yet.
Even the thick snow on the roads leading to the respective institutes has not been cleared.
A school teacher in Kupwara said, more than 50 government schools in Kupwara do not have road access.
“Due to thick snow, I think more than 50 schools cannot carry academic activity from Monday. The irony is that in some schools, the accumulated snow is yet to be cleared from the roofs and courtyards,” he said. “Some schools in Kupwara district start functioning from April due to thick snow. Most of these schools are from avalanche-prone areas.”
According to the officials the areas where from these government schools are still inaccessible include Jumgand, Machil, Budnambal, Chamkote, Tangdar, and Rajwar.
“Seven schools of Budnambal area, four schools of Jumgand, 12 in Machil, 18 in Chamkote and Tangdar and eight schools of Rajwar upper areas are reportedly cut-off due to the accumulated snow,” he said. “From Budnambal area, the inaccessible schools include Government High School (GHS) Budnambal, Government Middle School (GMS) Budnambal, GMS Bunjerdaji and GMS Gamdaji.”
Likewise, from Karnah sector, the cut-off schools include GMS Amroori, GMS Saidpora and GMS Dani.
Similarly, from Jumgand area, there is access to GHS Jumgand, GMS Jumgand, GMS Satkoji, GHSS Dapal-Machil and GHS Ring-Bala.
The locals accused the district administration of failing to clear the accumulated snow before the reopening of schools.
This is not for the first time that these schools would not re-open on the scheduled time.
Last year, two higher secondary schools, a high school, and many middle schools were under 10-feet snow at the time of re-opening.
Many schools from Jumgand, Budnambal, Keran and Herkin Top, and Sadhna Top areas were also out of bounds.
Another official of the School Education Department said there were some government schools that start functioning in the last week of March or first week of April.
In-charge Chief Education Officer Kupwara, Abdul Hamid Fani said, “The staff living in these areas will see the feasibility of the opening these schools. We will try to re-open them as soon as possible.”
Fani said as soon as the amount of snow would reduce from the courtyards, the Education department would try to make these institutions functional.
“We have clear instructions from Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) as well to make these schools functional at the earliest. These schools usually re-open a bit late due to harsh climatic conditions,” he said.
Fani said he had assumed the charge of CEO recently.
“I have been told that these schools re-open in April. However, we will try our level best to re-open them before April,” he said.
The Education department of the district has suggested the students of the upper reaches to study in their nearby government schools that are established in the plains.
“There are more than 50 schools in Machil, Keran and Jumgand sectors that are cut-off due to accumulated snow. In these schools, I think approximately, more than 3000 students are enrolled,” Fani said.