Daily Newspaper of Jammu and Kashmir

Bleak Future of Students in Machil Sector Along LOC

234 Lecturer Posts Vacant in Kupwara District: Official

Srinagar, 13 September : Students from several villages located along the Line of Control (LOC) in Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara face a bleak future as J&K Government has failed to ensure quality education in Govt. established institutions.

As per the ground report, the sector in which a dozen villages are located, some quite close to the LOC, lack appropriately developed educational institutions and the insufficient and under qualified staff has left the students hopeless about any firm progress in their lives.

More than 160 students are enrolled in Govt. High School of ‘Machil village’ and it puzzles the mind that only Six teachers are appointed at the institution.

Students said that there is no assurance of a better future for them as they are neither able to get proper education nor aware about the basics of the digital world such as the Internet, let alone online classes.

Sarpanch of the Village, Habibullah Harray told KNB that Eight years have passed since the up-gradation of the educational institution from a Middle School to High School but the teaching staff remains the same.

“It is absolute injustice with the youth of our village,” he said, adding that the young ones have dreams but to turn them into reality, the only ray of hope ‘quality education’ remains distant from their lives.

In another village ‘Thalli’— four teachers have been made available for more than 200 students enrolled at the Middle School of the village.

As per a local, the Middle School consists of only two rooms in which the number of students struggle to adjust, let alone focusing on learning to read and write.

Talk about the academic activities, as per students, sadly there has been none for the last Two years due to the pandemic situation after the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

“Schools have been closed for two years now and we have not studied anything,” a student from the Pashtuns Community said.

In Village Dudi of the sector—which is around 10 Kilometers away from the LOC— students remain destitute from regional, national and international affairs due to the unavailability of Internet services.

Students from the Govt. Higher Secondary in the village said that the institution has remained closed for academic classes for most of the past several years and if only online classes had been conducted, maybe they would have learned something.

“We have only heard the term ‘online classes’ but never have we attended one,” a student said, “Zero” was her response, when asked about her future.

Students from far distant areas have to reach the institution by foot as basic facilities, such as proper roads, public transport are a distant dream for now in the border lying village.

“After returning back home from the Schools, I spend most of my time recovering because I am super exhausted,” a student said. “How am I supposed to focus on education? he asked.

No hostel has been established to either accommodate the students or the staff of the school.

Due to lack of infrastructure and the most important tool in today’s world ‘Internet’ the young students have been devoid from the digital world and the basic skills to interact with the same.

Over a Kilometer away from the LOC, bounding the Machil sector, lies a village called ‘Ring Payeen’.  With more than 250 students enrolled at the Govt. Higher Secondary of the village, it is mind boggling that not a single lecturer has been appointed.

Out of the 250, around 100 students have opted for Medical and Non-Medical streams and others are enrolled in the middle wing but to teach and train them, only 7 teachers look after the academics. Besides that the educational institution is without a principal/headmaster.

A local said that they have brought up their grievances with every official of different levels of the administration but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Talking to news agency Kashmir News Bureau, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Kupwara, Abdul Hamid Fani said that due to the annual transfer drive, there are vacancies in the lecturer posts.

He agreed that presently there are no lecturers appointed at the Govt. Higher Secondary in Ring Payeen Village and said, “The lecturers have been transferred and even the Master has been transferred recently.”

“We couldn’t immediately redress this issue because such posts are taken care of by the Government,” he said, adding that the masters are assigned by the Directorate and Principal/lecturers by the Secretary education.

“For now two lecturers have been appointed at the educational institution (in Village Ring Payeen) from Dudi,” he claimed.

He further said that the issue has been taken up with the concerned Directorate and vacant posts of lecturers/teachers/masters will be occupied soon.

As per the CEO Kupwara, 234 lecturer posts are vacant in the district.

Regarding the hostel facilitation for students and staff, Hamid Fani said that under Samagra Shiksha Programme, hostel projects have already been submitted.

However, the Fundamental Right to Education of the students in almost all the villages has been compromised in Machil sector, which is some 56 Kilometers away from the main town Kupwara and at the distance of 150 Km from Kashmir capital, Srinagar.

Lack of teachers, lecturers, laboratories and libraries in the schools have left the students in utter distress and with each passing day, get distant from their dream of a successful life and a sound society.

The condition of these schools and the unheard voices of the young students is a big question mark over the claims of Centre as well as UT administration that far flung areas are being looked after and development for all is being ensured. (KNB)

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