Stray dogs and cows are a constant presence in this school without a boundary wall

Without a boundary wall for 14 years the government-run middle school at Lurgam in south Kashmir’s Tral area looks more like a yard for stray animals like cows and dogs than a place meant for young students.

No one seems bothered about the safety of more than 90 children enrolled in this school.

The Government Middle School Lurgam, located on Tral-Satura road is frequented by cattle, dogs and unwanted people scaring and disturbing the students as their classes go on.

At a random glance towards the school while walking on the outside road, animals can be seen inside the institute premises making it look more like more cattle house than an educational institution.

The school witnesses rush throughout school hours. During morning assembly, a herd of cows is grazing beside the students causing massive disturbance to them.

Interestingly, the government has chosen this school as model kindergarten (NaneKadam). Three year olds are admitted here but due to presence of animals fear has gripped their parents too.

“There are 91 students enrolled in the school despite no boundary walls. We fear for the lives of our children. Without boundary walls animals can easily attack our children. Many female students also feel unsafe and are unwilling to go to school,” said Abdul Qayoom a local resident.

Besides animals straying into the school premises, some locals throw garbage and pile up cow dung nearby, sending a constant stink into the school.

“We raised the issue several times that government must focus on development of educational infrastructure in remote areas like Lurgam but government seems hardly bothered,” another concerned resident said.

Teachers also voiced concern over the failure of the authorities to provide a boundary walls or fencing for the school. The school administration had sent countless reminders and requests to the education department but to no avail.

“Locals easily roam inside the classrooms creating indiscipline. Local residents have reduced our school to a grazing place for livestock. We have brought this matter before every ZEO but we could get mere assurances and nothing happened so far,” said a teacher who wished not to be identified.

Director School Education Kashmir, Mohammad Younis Malik, assured Greater Kashmir that works for construction of boundary walls for the school will be undertaken soon.