Majority of the schools which were damaged in the September 2014 floods lie in a state of ruin badly hitting the education of the children.
The government data reveals that the education sector has faced a loss of over Rs 90.29 crore and 1096 schools were damaged across Kashmir division. In the absence of infrastructure students are forced to shun the studies.
The state government is however unable to repair the infrastructure due to paucity of funds. Director School Education Shah Faesal said, “Last year’s flood left tens of thousands of Kashmiri children without education, as most of the schools were damaged by the floods.”
A document of the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has revealed that the 1096 schools were damaged in the floods. While 601 buildings were totally damaged, 495 schools were partially damaged.
In the floods a huge stock of books were also destroyed. The document reveals that total number of books damaged was 77244 sets and estimated loss was of Rs 29.48 crore. Huge stocks of mid day meals were also spoiled and the losses have been over Rs 1.54 crore. Other stocks which were destroyed include the stationary, uniforms and school bags.
Faesal said that the rehabilitation package for the education sector has been submitted to the Central government. “383 school building projects have been submitted to government under state plan and we need Rs 25.10 crore for rebuilding the infrastructure and we are waiting for the response from the government,” he said.
Sources said that the matter over reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure has been taken up with the Central government and the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) has sought additional details. “They wanted to know which of the partially damaged buildings were more than 10-years-old and which ones have been constructed in last ten years,” said a senior official.
Due to the massive damage to the schools, Director Education however said that the department has rented out buildings to ensure that the education of the students is not hit.
Among the districts the South Kashmir, district of Anantnag was the hardest hit in terms of number of school buildings damaged during the deluge. While 182 school buildings in Islamabad were damaged in floods, 174 were damaged in Budgam, 169 in Pulwama, 122 in Baramulla and in Ganderbal 17 school buildings were damaged. In Srinagar, the number of damaged school buildings was 64.
“The government failed to provide the funds due to which we used the school development funds,” said a senior government official. . The government has officially also admitted that the school education was hit hard with a DSEK report noting, “ 205 schools in Srinagar were closed for longer period as they were being repaired and 35 buildings are run from rented buildings.’’