Riddled with infrastructure deficit, 64 percent government owned schools in Jammu and Kashmir are without electricity.
According to official data compiled by the Union Human Resources Ministry, just 36 percent of the government schools in Jammu and Kashmir have electricity connections, while the remaining craving for this facility.
The figures reveal that J&K is far behind the national average of electrified schools, which is 63 percent.
Even the backward states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarkhand and neighbouring Himachal Pradesh have higher rate of schools having electricity connections.
In Bihar, 46 percent schools have electricity connections. In Uttarkhand the rate is 75 percent, Jharkhand 48 percent and Himachal Pradesh 92 percent.
Ironically, according to the union ministry figures, in three financial years, Jammu and Kashmir has not been able to electrify even a single elementary school in the state.
As per the website of the School Education Department, J&K has a total of 22,627 schools. These include 14,171 primary, 6,665 upper primary, 1194 high and 597 higher secondary schools.
A senior Power Development Department informed that during a high level meeting with officials of Education Department few months back, it was decided that schools without electricity will be provided with the facility under the government category which entails no connection charges.
“However all usage bills raised thereafter shall be borne by the School Education Department”.
Recently, the Directorate of School Education had asked the CEOs in Kashmir to enter into an agreement with the PDD for electrification of all schools in a time-bound manner. It may be mentioned that last year students of 12th grade at some schools were forced to write their annual examination papers under solar lights, smart phone torches and even candles, in bone-chilling condition in the month of November as it was a dark cloudy day.
The pictures purportedly showing students writing papers under torch lights and candles had gone viral on the social media.
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