The lackadaisical attitude of the state government in upgrading the education system can be gauged from the fact that it has not been sending funds for the maintenance and repair of government school buildings to the district public works department (PWD) for the past 24 years.
Officials at the department told HT that the last grant which the office received from the government was in 1992.
As a result, the PWD has also not been carrying out any survey to ascertain the number of unsafe buildings in the districts.
The last survey that the office had carried out was six years ago in 2010.
As per the survey, carried out by PWD in 2010 that was submitted to the additional deputy commissioner (development) on unsafe government school buildings, a copy of which is with HT, as many as 165 primary school, 38 government middle school, 37 high school and 45 senior secondary school buildings were found to be unsafe in the district.
A PWD official, on the condition of anonymity, said that earlier the government used to ask for a maintenance programme from the department, stating the number of schools in the jurisdiction that required maintenance or were in need of repair, after which the government used to release the grants to the department as per the requirement.
Officials said that now most the of government schools in the district, both primary and secondary, are either repaired by school administrations themselves or through MP funds or by the money donated by nonresident Indians (NRIs) in the region.
The officials, however, made it clear that the maintenance and repair of primary schools was not under their jurisdiction. They are responsible for the maintenance of secondary schools, he added. Even the district education office of Jalandhar had been declared ‘unsafe’ some 10 years ago. Officials said they had sent a list of all school buildings declared unsafe, but they didn’t receive any response or direction for action from the government.