Scheme To Provide Free Education To Girl Child In Backward Areas Yet To Take Off In J&K

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Non utilisation of funds, incomplete buildings deflate basic purpose of scheme

Mubashir Aalam Wani

Srinagar: The school education department is yet to make 32 percent Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalya (KGBV) schools functional in Jammu and Kashmir.

These residential schools are functioning as day schools in violation of the norms set by the government of India for implementation of the centrally sponsored scheme.

An official told KNO that there are around 97 KGBV schools approved by government of India but only 60 functional in Jammu and Kashmir. “The student enrolment in these schools has decreased which has thrown a major challenge for the department,” the official said.

The Kasturba Gandhi balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) scheme was launched some 14 years ago by the GoI to provide educational facilities in residential schools for girls belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minority communities and families below the poverty line in educationally backward blocks (EBB).

“MHRD approved 99 buildings for KGBV residential schools out of which two schools (Kharoo of Leh district and Kishtwar of Kishtwar district) are yet to be made operational by the state,” the official said.

The official said that other KGBV schools which have been mad residential are operating from rented buildings as government has failed to construct permanent campus for these schools.

“Several meetings were convened to discuss the issue but no efforts were given to make these residential schools functional properly,” the official said. He said the department failed to utilize the funds released by the government of India under the scheme.

“The funds were not utilised because of the Laxity of the department. We get funds from MHRD to provide bedding and other logistic support to the students but 32 KGBVs are working as day schools due to which the funds remain unspent,” the official said. The official said that more than 40 KGBV buildings have been left abandoned by the department as construction work on these buildings was halted at mid-way.

“At some places the construction of KGBV residential school buildings has been completed but the schools are still functional in rented accommodations as department is yet to complete the requisite formalities to take over the buildings,” the official said.

The official further said the failure of the department to utilize all buildings and funds received from Government of India has deflated the basic purpose of the scheme wherein girl children would get free education in backward villages. “The scheme is yet to achieve the target in JK due to Laxity of the department,” the official said. State project director Samagra, Arun Kumar Manhas was not available for his comments. (KNO)

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