At this school in Srinagar’s Hyderpora, over 200 students take free tuitions in the Wi-Fi enabled warm classrooms as temperature remains below freezing point outside.
The classes have been started in 300 schools in Kashmir as part of a state government initiative known as the ‘Chief Minister’s Super 50’. The programme was initiated by late chief minister mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The program is a big hit as hundreds of teachers have given up their winter vacation and have volunteered to offer free tuition to over one lakh students in Kashmir.
“It is a voluntary effort. I can teach and I have that potential teach.” said Manzoor Ahmad, principal and administrator of the free tuition at the school.
The regular schools in the Valley are closed for three month during winters.
Students from across the Valley are enrolling for free lessons in these special classes.
“We had never expected this in government run schools. It is a very good initiative. We are getting all facilities here.” said Tazeela, a student.
The only cost for these winter lessons is Rs. 150 a month.
Poor students who cannot afford expensive tuition during the winter vacations say it is bringing them access to quality education.
“We are thankful to CM who is no more now and education minister who started this. We feel that students are getting uniform education,” said Parvez Ahmad, another student.
The government plans to include more schools in this programme.
“The participation is beyond our expectations. Hundred thousand are enrolled so far and we are open to more such schools” said Shah Faesal, director school education.