Abid Hussain

Six decade old Budgam school shifted to inaccessible area

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Villagers predict increase in student dropouts

Budgam: The people in several villages of Budgam district have expressed strong resentment against the education department for shifting the Boys High School (BHS) Shogapora to Jawalapora village, which according to them is a remote and inaccessible area.

They told Kashmir Images that hundreds of students from villages like Patwaw, Jahama, Heewador, Hillmission, Sandipora, Tilampora, Butbagh, Zazbugh, Shogapora, Hayatpora, Kathwara, Chak, Dalwan, Gojra, Bikamnar, Udroo and Jawalapora would attend the BHS, earlier located at Shogapora.

The BHS was established in Shogapora in early 1960s but, now after the shifting of the school to Jawalapora, the students of aforementioned villages have stopped going to the school because of the remoteness of the area.

“It was feasible for the students, who would come from different villages to attend the school when the same was located at Shogapora,” said a local, Akhter Jaan adding that by shifting the school to a remote area, the government is putting the career of students at stake.

Another local, Muntazir Mehdi said: “Our school has produced journalists, doctors, officers and engineers but the government is compelling the students to leave their studies as they are supposed to cross dangerous terrains in order to reach Jawalapora.”

Another villager Mahinder Singh told Kashmir Images that the high school at Shogapora village was located in close proximity to eight middle schools but now by shifting the high school, the government has snatched its centrality.

He added that instead of sanctioning another high school for Jawalapora, government has relocated the BHS and thereby creating inconvenience for the students.

Singh further said that the BHS in Shogapora village was located on 25 kanals of land with a good infrastructure, whereas the BHS at Jawalapora has only few classrooms.

According to an order issued by the state government vide letter number Edu/Gen/119/2017, the government had ordered Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) to shift the School –  the communiqué reads: “Kindly shift the government BHS Shogapora to village Jawalapora, Budgam as desired by the Hon’ble Education Minister and furnish a compliance report in this behalf. Matter may kindly be treated as most urgent.”

While criticizing the government for the lack of decisiveness, former Director Finance, Ghulam Mohammad Khan said: “Before issuing the order for shifting the BHS, the government should have informed locals and sought their consent.”

“Government has issued the order without seeking ground reports from education officials,” he added.

When contacted Minister for Education, Syed Altaf Bukhari said: “If shifting of school has led to the inconvenience for the students and their parents then I will ask the education department to do the necessary in this regard.”

Director School Education Kashmir, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Itoo did not pick up phone despite repeated attempts by this reporter.

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