Srinagar: Seemingly waking up to infrastructure deficit, Jammu and Kashmir government has released more than Rs 58 crore for upgrading over 22,000 schools in the union territory.
Under the `Samagra Shiksha’ scheme, over Rs 58. 87 crore has been released to upgrade around 22,367 schools across the 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, 1845 schools have been granted more than Rs 4.71 crore, 1839 schools in Kupwara have been granted Rs 4.93 crore and 790 schools in Bandipora have been granted Rs 2.13 crore.
In South Kashmir, Rs 3.90 crore, Rs 2.09 crore, Rs 2.01 crore and Rs 1.16 crore has been granted for up-gradation of schools in Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, and Shopian districts, respectively.
In central Kashmir, more than Rs 3.29 crore has been granted for up-gradation of 1238 schools in Budgam district. Around Rs 1.41 crore has been granted for upgrading 550 schools in Ganderbal while Rs 1.30 crore has been granted for 492 schools in Srinagar.
The district-level committee shall be framed and headed by the chief education officer to monitor the proper utilization of funds
“The amount is to be spent on replacement of non-functional equipment and other recurring activities like consumable sports, laboratories, electric, internet, water charges, and teaching aids. 10% of funds shall be utilized on Swachta Action Plan as per the MHRD guidelines,” the order reads.
It has been also noted that schools management can carry out the minor repair, refurbishing and maintenance work as per the requirement of the school for up-keep of infrastructure.
“Funds shall be utilized after observing all codal formalities and no deviation of funds is allowed. The accounts and other records shall be open to audit and inspection by the authorities,” the document reads.
A 2019 survey had found that 80% of government schools of Kashmir valley lack basic facilities of electricity, drinking water, and even toilets while many schools are without playgrounds and those having had either a playground outside their premises or is not accessible at all.
The survey revealed that of 23,747 government schools— 12,252 in Kashmir and 11,495 in Jammu, around 6,351 government schools were without toilets for girls and 8,098 schools have no toilets for boys. Only 5,000 government schools have electricity while more than 17,000 government schools are without electricity.