Srinagar, Feb 19: Authorities in J&K have built not even 20 per cent of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) buildings even as the schools were sanctioned eight years ago.
While 99 KGBVs, meant to impart quality upper primary education exclusively to girls of the Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs), were sanctioned for the state in 2009, insiders in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) told The Kashmir Monitor that only 18 buildings had been completed so far.
The SSA runs the KGBVs in the state.
After the union Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) sanctioned the schools, the insiders said that the state government could not identify land for the buildings as a result of which majority of the schools were running on rent.
“While some of the schools are running from the District Institutions of Education and Trainings (DIETs), others are currently operating from the government schools and other buildings,” an insider said.
The dispute among people over the setting up of the schools in their own areas “further delayed” the completion of the buildings, the insider said.
“In the meantime, there was an escalation in the cost of building the schools.”
Failing to complete majority of the school buildings, the SSA J&K “will seek a special package” from the government of India to complete the construction, the insider said.
In Kashmir, the KGBVs, which are otherwise meant to be residential schools, “work as day schools because of the security reasons”, as per the insider.
“Most of the schools in the valley do not have boundary walls, so nobody would want to keep their daughters in such type of schools. That is why the schools are not residential here,” he added.
In Kashmir, 10 KGBVs each are in north Kashmir’s Baramulla and Kupwara districts, while Anantnag and Budgam have eight each.
Four KGBVs each are functional in Bandipora and Leh districts. Ganderbal and Kulgam have three each of them.
Kargil, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar, the insider said, have six, five, one, and two KGBVs each.
Across the state, an official said, around 4,000 girl students were enrolled in the KGBVs.
State Project Director SSA, A R War said that construction of 9 more KGBVs-all of them in Kashmir had been undertaken after the government recently released Rs 2 crore for the buildings.
“We need additional funds for the rest of the school buildings as there has been a cost escalation.”
War too admitted to non-availability of land after the KGBVs were sanctioned in 2009.