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In quake-hit J&K, schools are a priority
M I Jehangir in Srinagar | October 20, 2006 10:24 IST
The devastating earthquake of 2005 left the students of Uri and Tangdhar areas of Jammu and Kashmir without schools. However, concerted efforts of the state government, aided by the Centre and non-governmental organisations, have ensured that they do not lag behind their counterparts in the rest of the state.
After putting up temporary shelters for earthquake survivors, the state government embarked on an ambitious project of starting schools in tents, pre-fabricated structures and whereever else they could see the possibility of holding classes.
The police, which is at the heart of fight against militancy in the state, took the lead in reconstruction and repair of the damaged school infrastructure.
While their colleagues were chasing down the ultras, the construction wing of the police undertook repair and reconstruction of 103 schools in Uri and Tangdhar.
Army, Air Force and other paramilitary forces like Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force also chipped in by reconstructing 22 school buildings.
NGOs also took up work of restoring 44 schools in the quake-affected areas.
The Centre generously supported the state government in restoring education infrastructure in Uri and Karnah tehsils, the worst-hit by the 7.4 magnitude tremor, by providing 100 percent funding for the reconstruction of all 125 primary and middle schools.
The funds for the purpose were provided under the Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan launched by the centre to ensure 100 percent literacy in the country.
Free textbooks were provided to students from class one to class 12th in the affected areas, while teaching and learning material was supplied by the UNICEF.
President A P J Abdul Kalam, who visited the earthquake-affected areas, provided computers to 28 schools in Uri and Tangdhar.
Although a lot is to be done, many steps have been taken towards restoring the damaged infrastructure of school buildings in the quake-hit areas, Kul Bhushan Jandial, media advisor to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, said.
As an immediate step to ensure that students did not lose valuable time ahead of annual examinations, the government started temporary schooling in 2100 tents in the affected areas, Jandial said.