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More than half of Srinagar schools running in rented spaces

By Irshad Khan

Srinagar, Apr 16: More than half of the schools within the education zones of Srinagar are without buildings.

As many as 276 schools in the education zones of Srinagar, accounting for over 53 per cent of the total number of schools in the valley, are running in rented buildings, official figures accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal.

There are 519 schools—30 higher secondary schools, 74 high schools, 211 middle schools, and 204 primary schools—in Srinagar, as per the figures.

Of them, 150 primary, 105 middle, and 21 high schools do not have their own buildings and are running from rented buildings, the figures say.

An official in the School Education Department they cannot find land for constructing buildings for these schools.

The official said the lack of space for constructing buildings was “everywhere”.

A top-level officer in the department, posted in old Srinagar, said, “We have middle schools in the city running in just two or even a single room. That certainly is a problem.”

He, too, blamed the lack of space for it.

“Unlike the city outskirts or rural areas, where land is available in plenty, there is definitely a shortage of land particularly in the main city,” he said.

Secretary School Education Department, Farooq Ahmad Shah was not available for comments.

Compared to Jammu,  Kashmir has thrice the number of primary and almost eight times the upper-primary schools running in rented buildings as

Against 472 government primary school buildings in Jammu, taken on rent, Kashmir had 1,575 rented primary school buildings as of December.

The deficit in the number of upper-primary schools was even wider, with 882 rented buildings in Kashmir as compared to Jammu’s 110 rented upper primary schools.