Even after spending crores under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme during the past years, students in many of the middle and high schools in Jammu and Kashmir are being deprived of basic amenities. According to the information collected by KNS, 60 percent of schools in Jammu and Kashmir are deprived basic facilities including the toilet facilities. A report by the Department of School Education and Literacy (DISE), Union Ministry of Human Resource Development said that out of 23,234 schools in JK, 14,116 schools are without toilet facility. As per the report the number of schools without toilet facility for girls is 6294 while the schools for boys without toilet facility are 7822. “Without improving the infrastructure, we cannot compete with private institutions and we can’t provide quality education. The government should pay heed towards this issue,” said a teacher of Jogi lanker government middle School which is also lacking the basic facilities including toilet facility. It is to mention here that under the SSA scheme, The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had made mandatory provision of eight basic facilities in schools. Eight basic facilities are: boys’ toilets, girls’ toilets, electricity, playground, ramps, library, compound wall and drinking water. The Supreme Court had also directed all States to ensure that basic toilet facilities, in particular to girl students, are provided in all schools within six months. Sources revealed to KNS that nearly 20 per cent of high schools do not have playgrounds. Eleven per cent and 6.99 per cent of high schools do not have toilets for boys and girls, respectively in the Kashmir valley. When contacted Education Minister Nayeem Ahktar told KNS that that government is well aware of these missing facilities and efforts are being made to provide these facilities to the schools. “All the facilities including toilets will be provided to all government schools in the State,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch