Studying in tin shed, students in J&K NEET topper’s village await school building

Srinagar, Jun 22 (PTI) Children dressed in blue checkered uniforms play outside a tin shed that stands on the roadside in Chewa Kalan village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

These are the students of the primary and upper primary schools of the village, the native place of Jammu and Kashmir’s NEET topper Abdul Basit, and the tin shed is where their classes are held. The shed also houses a kitchen where the students’ mid-day meals are prepared.

Inside the shed, classrooms have been created using thigh-high tin sheets and their walls are dotted with whiteboards, maps and various charts. Teachers’ lessons from different classes overlap.

Due to the metal sheets, the students and teachers sweat profusely in the summer and shiver in the winter.

On some days, when the heat gets unbearable, teachers prefer to take classes under the shade of a tree.

With the village shooting into the limelight due to Basit’s achievement, the students hope that the authorities will soon take steps to construct a school building.

A student, Munazah Nisar, told PTI that the heat becomes so unbearable at times that children find it hard to even talk.

“I hope the school building is constructed expeditiously,” she said.

Another student, Toiba Jan, said “Our school does not have a building. There is no water facility or even a toilet. We study inside a tin shed which was built by our teachers.”

It is due to the teachers’ efforts that the students are able to study, she said, adding, “We appeal to the government to construct a school building for us at the earliest.”

Jammu and Kashmir Civil Society chairman Mohammad Altaf said the condition of the school was brought to his notice by locals when he visited the village to facilitate Basit.

“Two schools have been clubbed and are housed in a tin shed. The teachers also suffer as other classes have to be stopped when one class is in session,” Altaf said.

He appealed to the administration to address the issue on priority.

While Pulwama’s Chief Education Officer (CEO) Abdul Qayoom refused to comment on the matter, Deputy Commissioner Basharat Qayoom said he has sought a report from the CEO and will comment only after receiving it.