The school at Azamabad Mandi!
By: M S Nazki
This was made with a lot of enthusiasm and positive attitude but by seeing it now one can easily assume as to what the state of education in Tehsil Mandi is. It is all negative?
- The Chief Education Officer in District Poonch is more of a gullible talker, a sycophant and a yes man who has no idea as to what is happening in Tehsil Mani as far as education goes.
- At least by seeing the condition of the school building one can safely assume that this is one more incomplete developmental work which did start but was abandoned midway through.
- Obviously the most thinkable excuse would be lack of funds as it is in District Poonch but why does such a situation arise in the District?
- Why do the administrators forward proposals which they know that would never meet the deadlines? This one never did and there are several others too.
- The most important thing is that the proposal is made, best plans formulated, the same are approved, the work starts and suddenly it is no fund syndrome why so?
- This is an incomplete residential school building that is languishing in neglect.
- No doubt the idea was good but this clearly suggests that the intent later on bifurcated and hence the purpose was lost and the government money, which is actually of the people, was wasted and some…. well I will not commit but one thing is definite, corruption, graft and under the counter money circulates in abundance in District Poonch.
- It was six years when the construction of the school started, the building is incomplete as finishing is yet to be done and is standing like a haunted, hollow caricature of a construction whose description can be compared to a filming set of a horror film. By the way it was supposed to be an educational institution with residential facilities for the students of the interior.
- I’m sure that most of the administrators may not be knowing also as to where exactly Azamabad is? Leave aside the half constructed building awaiting competition.
- Incidentally the excuse of militancy factor will not hold any good because that was more or less over six years back. This was absolutely the lack of interest shown by the then politicians, administrators and of course those running the education phenomenon in UT Jammu (J&K) and could be easily summarized as a circus in District Poonch!
- The people want that if the building was approved, sanctioned, work started then by now it should have been completed. They do not know the reason for the same but do mention that it could be possible that education in interiors like the health care too is on low priority. In fact nothing is at priority here because nothing is happening visibly though plenty may be on papers! Of course as usual!
Looking at the models, there was no safe way to open schools when the militancy was a it’s peak. But the banner of education in such areas was kept afloat by the Indian Army as the staff employed by the government were a scared lot and never preferred to come out of their homes. But as the situation steadied the children returned to the schools. The children populace in the schools grew because more were/are interested in getting into the competitive field to make their future. The government too began taking a great interest and hence the first requirement that schools began to come up. In the backward areas of District Poonch they came up dime a dozen in rented accommodations. In fact mobile schools for migrant tribesmen too were incorporated. The immediate purpose was to meet the immediate requirement but it was not a long time one. Thus began the construction work. How many were completed and how many left in the middle of nowhere is not known but what is known is that this one in Azamabad, Mandi stands like an incomplete whispering construction. A school is not the million bricks, but the thousand hearts who carry more dreams than the night sky has stars. The people do say this school is the emotions, our stories and our love for each other. But that can only happen if it is complete. This one is not!
I. People’s description of the school building in Azamabad, Mandi
*Is it a school building or an animal habitat/sanctuary? At the moment the latter sequence fits in appropriately in the description.
*Residents decry official apathy, obviously they have every reason to do so. The Chief Education officer sitting on the chair at this moment has in particular no job to do. It is the teachers who are on their instruments, sending notes to the children.
- Heavy doze instructions are coming to teach the children face to face on screens. That is not possible and the reason is lack of resources. The teachers will zoom on but will the children especially so in rural areas and interiors reciprocate. Even if they want they cannot. Reasons I have given you above.
- The Indian Army does conduct classes for the students, last year they also did so! But what did the government staff do? Now also probably they are doing nothing. At least the CEO can pull out the file of this school and see what can be done to complete it so that the building can be useful later when the classes re-start.
- Locals say that the building for Government Middle School in Azamabad was constructed six years ago but it is yet to be made functional, as the school building is yet to be completed due to alleged negligence of the contractor and the concerned department.
- The problem is that it is a half baked product. The present school lacks the basic infrastructure and proper accommodation after which the authorities had built this new building.
- The building is now in complete shambles with broken windows and doors. It apparently looks like a ghost house as I earlier mentioned and perfect setting for Sam Raimi to create yet another masterpiece of the ’Evil Dead series’ or for the master of horror Stephen King to pen down yet another gut wrenching and terrifying story since the locales and the settings are perfect.
- The locals said that the department left the construction work mid-way leaving the building abandoned. It has turned into a den for drug addicts, which in turn has become a big nuisance for the local residents here. Obviously such buildings are haunts of the dope kings and let us be practical that drug consumption in the District is fairly on the higher side. The government has given the druggies a ready made joint to party as and when they feel.
- Even after six years, the walls of the school building have not been plastered, while the floor is yet to be laid. Besides, the work executed so far is of poor quality. Lakhs of rupees were sanctioned by the government for the schools but the same probably has not been utilized in a proper manner. That is the reason why the building lies dilapidated, incomplete and urging the authorities that let decent students come in and study.
- The people have informed and approached the concerned authorities on many occasions about the pending work and the status of this building but they have not done anything as yet, no action has been taken till date.
*Social activist Ishtiaq Malik, along with the local residents, urged the governor’s administration to look into the issue and get the whole fiasco as to why this building never got completed. I do not think funds should be the excuse because as per the people they were available in plenty. How they were utilized is not known. But the same can be after a probe.
We easily blame the teachers for the children in the interiors getting bad grades in schools. Yes we can blame them but only partially because there is no congenial atmosphere. No spacious classrooms and no resources and hence no environment for learning. They are carrying on as they were and the education department seemingly is learning no lessons and hence the education is suffering. They should know, if we repeat history as we are then doom is where we are heading towards as far as education in interiors go!