It was a rainy day in the month of April. I was on vacations, talking to my friends on the road side when I saw something that touched me. I was really moved when I saw two kids writing A,B,C on the muddy road with small sticks. I approached them with a smile and I was responded with an equally courteous smile.
Suddenly it struck my mind that it was 11:30 and they should be in the school. I asked them what they were doing on the roadside at a time when they should be at the School. Their reply was heart-wrenching. One of them told me that the school was closed as it was raining. Upon further enquiry, they told that they don’t have a proper school building and their classes are conducted in Tin Sheds which fill up with water when it rained.
This left me angry as well as sad. I went to the school to meet the school authorities, what I witnessed totally shook me. Instead of a proper concrete structure, I witnessed two tin sheds. When I further inquired from the school authorities, I was told that the sanctioned funds amounting to more than 40 lac rupees were minted by R&B, block development department and the education department.
He added that because it was a small village, nobody dared to go against the culprits involved in the scam as they held big positions in the government offices. It took me one and a half year to actually find how much funds were released and whether they were spent or not.
Then I went officially to file an RTI in 2015.
I thought to contact Dr Shah Faisal, because I was really impressed when I read his on how his colleague’s resignation was filed by her husband without her consent. He had said that he took immediate action.
I personally contacted Dr Shah Faisal. He assured me that a strict action would be taken against the culprits. I told him that every year an average of 25 girls leave education because they can’t qualify their Matric Examinations, not because they are not capable enough, but because they study in the tin sheds and the money that was sanctioned for their Education was minted by Concerned Authorities. After being disappointed by the attitude of the Education Director, I kept investigating and found out that the Government had approved more 36 lakhs towards school building which was never built. When I called Dr Shah Faesal and Inquired about it, he replied to my complaint that he had approved Rs 36 lakhs under RMSA towards building fund. The interesting twist is that these Rs 36 Lakhs are also gone.
When I continued to ask him for a year he warned me not to contact him anymore and said it’s no longer his problem. I was surprised at this.
I am still waiting for the response to my RTI application which I filed in BDO office Tujar Sharief in 2015.
It is very unfortunate that in present times where The Educational System of the World has advanced and taken over by Computers, the school is still operating in 2 tin sheds and remains closed on rainy days.
As a result of this, the Percentage of students who pass in the first attempt in the Matric Examination from this school so far has been 0%. The majority of students studying in the Tin Shed school are girls.
The victims of this giant Education Scam are mostly the Students belonging to the less privileged families and poor young girls who form a majority in the school. The corruption by various government officials has claimed the future of many girls and boys who thought of a bright future for themselves.
Because of the low standards of Education being provided by the school, the girls fail in the Examinations and quit their education which leads to early Marriages. The Girls who dream of standing on their own Feet end up being house wives. The young boys who fail in the examination are forced to choose daily labour as their profession to earn the daily bread and butter for their poor families. It’s an alarming situation which has lead to the mushroom growth of child labour. Child Labour is flourishing as a consequence of this Education Scam.
Tujar Sharief is a historic village situated in North Kashmir’s Sopore town. One of The Greatest Saints of Kashmir Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Maqdoomi (R.A) was born in this Beautiful Village. Being a model village, Tujar Shareef is suffering from a trauma of scams by Various Government Departments like the Education department and R&B department, to name a few. Government High school is an example of that trauma. The School was established in 1959 and was upgraded to the level of high school in 2006. The majority of the students studying in the school belonging to the less-privileged families. The school has not seen any development in the Infrastructure since its establishment. Even though a building was constructed but unfortunately It was not completed and was left unfinished and incomplete. The state government at that time had sectioned almost Rs 36 lakhs for the development of the infrastructure of the school but nothing has changed from past 11 years. The school is operating as a high school from 2006 and none of the students has been able to pass in the first attempt till date. The school is currently working in 2 tin sheds.
The concerned department sanctioned a six room Single story building for the school in 2010 much after the school was the upgraded But since then the building has not been completely constructed. The department had claimed in 2010 that the school will be shifted to new building. The locals have also provided 10 kanals of land for the school which could have been used for a playground. Being a Model Village, a CIC (community information centre) was also sectioned. With the mutual understanding of locals and various departments, the CIC was planned to be built next to the School for the benefit of the students and amount of more than 50 lacs was sanctioned separately for the CIC with 4 employees and more than 10 computers.
But that only happened in the Papers, a small 3 room incomplete building was built but till date, it has not been finished and 4 employees promised by the Government remained only a dream. Locals alleged that when they investigated, it was found that all the money was minted and went to the pockets of Government employees like Constructors, BDOs, Magistrates and Various other Higher officials of the Education Department.
Government High school Tujar Shareef is just the tip of an iceberg of the failure of our education Department and other White Collar Bureaucrats who have destroyed the future of many poor students and landed many Children into Child Labour.
And the students? The story of the poor students of Tujar Shareef is a story of our own Failure. The Highhandedness of a few People has aided the criminals who have corroded the Education system of our society which is pushing us back to Illiteracy. The poor children Studying in the Tin Shed still await justice while everyone is silent about it.
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