Owing to shortage of funds, the government primary and middle schools in the district, are finding it hard to pay their electricity bills.
During a visit to a few government schools by the HT team, the school in charges said they were paying electricity bills from their own pocket every month. Besides, the government schools have to provide free education to students of Class 1 to 8.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Anju Gupta, in charge of the Government Middle School, Abdullapur Basti, said, “It is difficult to meet the electricity bill as we haven't received any funds from the state government. We have to pay `4,000 as electricity bill this month and the teachers will have to contribute for it. The government needs to find a solution to this.”
Jai Kumari, in charge of Government Primary School, Dugri, said, “Our school has strength of 450 and there are nine teachers teaching them. The major problem, which we are facing, is paying electricity bills as the government is providing absolutely no funds. The teachers are asked to contribute every month from their own pocket. Besides teachers also have to contribute to run the mid day meal scheme. The schools never get any money in advance to run this scheme successfully.”
Punjab education minister, Sikander Singh Maluka, said, “I know that this is a big problem for government primary and middle schools. The best solution to deal with this issue is to either provide free electricity at government schools or by granting funds to pay the bills. But last year we had asked the panchayats to pay the electricity bills of the government schools that fall under their villages.”