Now, new primary schools in J&K to be set up on GIS mapping basis only

“As per MHRD guidelines, no permission will be given to the state to establish a new school unless the GIS mapping is completed,” the official said.

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Oct 18 2018 1:16AM | Updated Date: Oct 18 2018 2:59AM
Now, new primary schools in J&K to be set up on GIS mapping basis onlyFile Photo

The J&K state will now set up new primary and upper primary schools only on the basis of Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of all existing schools.

The state for the past many years has not established any new government primary school as the union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has asked it to complete the GIS mapping of all the schools and the school-less habitations.

A top official said the construction of new school under the Smagra Shiskha (erstwhile SSA) will be decided only on the basis of GIS mapping in order to ensure distribution of schools properly as per requirement across the state.

“As per MHRD guidelines, no permission will be given to the state to establish a new school unless the GIS mapping is completed,” the official said.

GIS mapping is an initiative of the department of school education and literacy, MHRD, for “seamless visualisation of school locations across the country”.

As per official figures there are almost 13,175 government-run schools in the state which have been established under state plan as well under erstwhile SSA scheme over the past years.

“But the schools are not established in accordance with the SSA guidelines due to which we still have more than 400 habitations without a primary school,” the official said.

As per norms, a primary school should be available at a distance of every one kilometer and a middle school at every three kilometers and a high school at every five kilometers. But in J&K state, the government educational institutions have been set up haphazardly without taking into consideration the distance in the institutions.

“In Doda district we have some villages where students have to cover nine kilometers for a primary school and in Macchill there is no primary school up to the distance of three kilometers,” the official said, adding that on the other side dozens of primary schools are within the radius of one kilometers in various areas due to the clubbing of schools.

“This is the reason behind making GIS mapping of government schools a mandatory exercise,” the official said.

Also, in the recent project approval board (PAB) meeting of Samrga Shiksha convened by joint secretary education MHRD in New Delhi on June 20, the school education department was asked to complete the GIS mapping of all the schools in the state.

The MHRD also approved new 12 primary schools for J&K state- three in Doda, one each in Baramulla, Kupwara (machill), Ramban, Udhampur and Jammu, two each in Kishtwar and Poonch under Smagra Shiksha.

“The department had not conducted GIS mapping of around 400 schools established near security zones in Rahjouri and Karnah and other like areas and we were not allowed to use our choppers,” the official said. He said the army however extended their help for conducting this exercise manually on ground.

Stat project director (SPD) Smagra Shiksha, Tufail Ahmad Matoo said the GIS mapping of all the schools and school-less habitation is almost completed in the state.

“And now the new schools will be established on the basis of GIS mapping besides fulfilling other criteria,” he said

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