Tall claims stand exposed

15/03/2019

Unbelievable it may sound but it is a fact that thousands of Government schools in Jammu and Kashmir are lacking toilets, drinking water and electricity facilities thereby exposing the 'inhumane' face of those who remained at the helm of affairs in the School Education Department. The appalling situation in such a large number of educational institutions is notwithstanding the fact that Union Government is providing huge funding to Jammu and Kashmir under different schemes for providing these basic facilities not only to the students but to the entire population. As per the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), a data base of schools in India developed by National University for Education Planning and Administration, a total of 1933 schools in 22 districts of the State are without boys' toilets. Of these, 1353 are Primary, 432 Middle, 93 Secondary and 55 Higher Secondary Schools. The maximum number of such schools are in Kathua (341) followed by Kupwara (320) and Udhampur (291). Similarly, a total of 1110 schools in 22 districts of the State are lacking girls' toilets. Of these, 872 are Primary, 165 Middle, 38 High and 35 Higher Secondary Schools. The maximum number of such schools are in Poonch (135) followed by Pulwama (134) and Kishtwar (132). Kathua district is at 4th place with 121 schools without girls' toilets.
It is pity that despite liberal assistance from the Government of India for providing all basic facilities to the students such a large number of pupils are without toilets and they are compelled to urinate in open, which is embarrassing particularly for the female students. The UDISE has also painted dismal scenario vis-a-vis drinking water facility as 5433 schools in the State, which include 3751 Primary, 1484 Middle, 161 High and 37 Higher Secondary Schools are without this basic necessity. The maximum number of such schools are in Poonch (709) followed by Kupwara (703) and Rajouri (632). Notwithstanding the fact that electricity supply is imperative for providing computer education to the students in the present era of competition, a total of 16597 schools in the State are without electricity connection. Of these 10817 are Primary, 5410 Middle, 350 High and 20 Higher Secondary Schools. The maximum number of such schools are in Kupwara (1616) followed by Rajouri (1409) and Poonch (1319).
The non-availability of electricity supply to such a large number of educational institutions is notwithstanding the fact that from time to time the Union Power Ministry launched schemes for providing electricity to each and every household and Government institution even in the most inaccessible areas. Lack of toilet, drinking water and electricity facilities in such a large number of schools has completely exposed the tall claims of the successive Governments about bringing turnaround in the education sector and adopting students-friendly measures. As far as separate toilets for male and female students are concerned, required funds have been made available with the Directors of School Education and the requisition of funds recommended by the school-wise committee will be communicated by the Chief Education Officers of the concerned Directorates for completion of separate toilets for boys and girls in each school.

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