With the Jammu and Kashmir undergoing several layers of conflict from over many years now, the education sector has been a severe hit in the region. High Court of Jammu and Kashmir recently asked government to expedite the process of reconstruction of educational institutions that got burnt and damaged in the 2016 unrest. The government was unrelenting to see schools remain closed and examinations be deferred in 2016 when Kashmir was under complete shutdowns lasting months. In fact education was made a point of disagreement over protracted shutdowns with government passing out the message that it was immensely concerned about the academic session of students and their education. As the message about burning of schools in Kashmir spread like wild fire, the government was at the forefront of condemning such acts and for good reason. But now that 2016 has passed and students have been promoted to new classes, the onus is on the government to repair and reconstruct the damaged structures in Kashmir. This being the time of vacations, it suits the schools, teachers, students as well as the government. Although the high court has asked the government to increase the pace, the latter should show some self-responsibility. The report card of the government will be known once the vacations are over, and it is obligatory for the government to be well prepared for the test. It would be very unfortunate if students once the vacations are over will have to sit in dilapidated and damaged structures. The state is already in for trouble on the issue of poor educational infrastructure. Some worthy schemes that were meant to give a boost to education in general and school infrastructure in particular have already gone awry. With no serious step taken by the state to fix the accountability, money that should have been spent on building schools and facilities has been bungled. Also the government must disclose what the state’s would be in near future on building schools and reconstructing the ones that are damaged. In the next budget it is hoped that building schools and facilities would be a priority of the government. But till then the government must expedite the work on schools, if there is any. Besides the repair and renovation, government must start paying attention to the needed facilities in schools. Proper toilet facility for boys and girls, although it has gone up in recent years, it still needs improvement. Similarly, safe drinking water facility in schools run by government in all rural and urban areas has been one of the main concerns.
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