This govt school in Anantnag village accommodates both students and livestock
Post by Younus Rashid on Saturday, June 3, 2023
Anantnag, June 02: A government school in this south Kashmir’s Anantnag district functions from a dilapidated rented structure that accommodates both students and livestock.
Located in the Shangus educational zone of Anantnag, Government Primary School, Hargongali, Kharpora, has raised concerns among the parents and the local community.
The school stands as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by students in their pursuit of education.
While approaching the school, the visitors are greeted by a name board displaying the tagline “Come, let us live for our children - learning is a journey, not a destination”. However, this noble sentiment clashes with the reality faced by the students on a daily basis. The echoes of the "Moo Moo" sound by a cow, chained on the ground floor of the school, create an unwelcome backdrop for learning.
The infrastructure of the school is in dire need of attention. The decaying structure not only poses safety risks but also emits a pervasive and unpleasant odor.
A local Sarpanch told Rising Kashmir that the school has been open for a year in a run-down structure. It was previously operational in another rental property. He said the education department is well aware of the school’s situation but has done nothing substantial so far.
“Around three dozen students attend this school, which has two classrooms on the second floor and a cowshed on the ground floor. This is rented school accommodation,” he explained. “The new facility was built in 2014 but has yet to be operational owing to unfortunate circumstances.”
An official said the school was established in 2004 under the Education Guarantee Scheme/Centre (EGS) and was upgraded to a primary school in 2008. Since then, the school has been operating in a rented space.
“In 2014, a new building was constructed that is almost complete but has been left unattended for unknown reasons,” he said.
According to locals, the students are from the scheduled tribe (ST) and have extremely limited amenities in “this cowshed facility”. The education department is yet to wake up and address the issue.
“A new building was built for around Rs 9 lakh in 2014, but it was never used. During rainy days, water seeps inside the rooms,” they said.
The deteriorating condition of this government school has raised concerns among parents who fear for their children's well-being and educational opportunities. They expressed frustration over the lack of action taken by the relevant authorities to address the pressing issues plaguing the school.
The local community, too, has voiced its disappointment over the state of affairs, urging the government to prioritise the education of young minds.
Sajad Hussain, Zonal Education Officer (ZEO), Shangus, told Rising Kashmir that the work on the new building is going on and would be completed soon.
“The school is housed in a rented structure. Since 2014, the new building has been unable to take off. It came to my notice that the school is housed in a building with a cowshed on the ground floor and a school on the upper story and I have taken notice of this,” he stated.
A significant amount of maintenance is required for the new structure because it lacks fences, and toilets, and is located far away from the habitation, the ZEO said.