Education In Shambles

By Faisal Magray

Government Schools in Kashmir work in the rented buildings ranging from a single room to three rooms, whether  owned or rented, almost all are dilapidated. Information revealed by the Directorate of School Education shows that there are 11633 Government schools in Kashmir division. This exceeds the number of villages, which stand at around 5,000. Most of the Government school buildings are rented, and few are government owned. Total enrolment in these schools is 10.23 Lacs out of which 5.73 lacs are Male students and 4.50 lacs are female. Most of the students who are enrolled in these schools belong to less privileged sections of society.

The picture is grimmer in the schools of Kashmir valley. Poor infrastructure continues to mar the performance of government schools, parents who are economically backward are sending their wards to these institutions. The government is not putting proper effort into streamlining the management of these schools.The economic survey report tabled recently in State Legislative Assembly revealed that the number of dilapidated schools across Jammu and Kashmir doubled in just one year from 474 to 948.
Majority of the Government schools in Kashmir Division lack basic infrastructure like toilets, washrooms, and play grounds, furniture, libraries etc. School Children are worst sufferers, they often do the job of cleaning and sweeping the school premises. They lay mats on the floor in the morning and roll them off every evening. The reason there are no sweepers in schools so the burden shifts to the children.

The common trend in Kashmir is that majority of parents who are economically wealthy, are admitting their wards to private schools which are said to have better facilities than those run by government. Lack of infrastructure apart, outdated teaching methods, outdated books, and the absence of libraries for children are other factors responsible for the trend.
A scene of utter dereliction and bits of collapsed building, this school dwarfs government’s tall claims of providing basic infrastructure. Inside, the condition of school is equally worse. The school is in shambles and teachers say the building could collapse any time.


Five reeking classrooms, separated by plywood sheets, crammed in a 20-square-meter hall under a rusted roof with no ceiling at government school in Srinagar. Cracked walls, inside and out, and stains caused by seeping water. The doors cannot be locked because there are no doors and windows, if any, have no glass pan.

      Classrooms are not enough to accommodate the 50 students from nursery to class 8th, in every room there two to three sections from different grades and when teachers simultaneously impart lesson, there is a complete chaos.

      Student in a rented school building cleaning the classroom. The students are the worst sufferers as school lacks sweepers.

     Students attending class in government school in Srinagar. The school has no seating arrangements for students and they sit on dusty jute mats. In the absence of toilet, the students and teachers have to knock adjacent residential homes.

     Students playing carom board on slab, the school also does not have playground and a slab adjacent to the school provides escape for the curricular activities of children.

   A student reads a paper in a class room in a government school. School is functioning from a crimpled, dilapidated hall of commercial building and lacks basic facilities like drinking water and toilet.

Students taking mid-day meals at government school in Srinagar. Barring a couple of blackboards, chairs, and table, the school has no seating arrangements for students forcing them to sit on dusty jute mats.

Students doing class work, the ceiling is falling apart, walls are cracked and buckets replace chairs when rains seep through the leaking roof.

      A single class room has been partitioned to give space for two cramped classrooms that holds two sections of students from different grades. 

     Students wait outside class room in a government school in Srinagar, the staircase which leads to the school is on the verge of collapse, and due to the paucity of space the staff has carved out an office by partitioning the hall with cupboards.

      Situation is pathetic in the Government schools of Kashmir valley. The students of these schools suffer and most of them drop education at early stage. The infrastructure of the government schools continues to ruin the future of the students.