Bijnor lacks school education in less populated villages

Forty-nine villages in Bijnor are bereft of a primary school within a radius of 1km as their population is less than 300 each. ” This is because existing norms do not mandate a school near villages with a population of less than 300,” said Salim Beg, Bijnor district coordinator of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. According to officials, at least 500 children are sitting at home, while 50 have never been to school. Those remaining have to suffer hardships while travelling long distances to other villages with schools.

According to officials, there are 1123 village panchayats in Bijnor. Out of these, 49 villages, such as Makoniya, Jhulokhatta, Nai Basti, Ichchhawal, Himmatpur etc., have less than 300. These villages are located in remote areas near forests or across rivers.

Beg confirmed the unavailability of schools in these 49 villages and said, “Earlier, there were 60 villages without primary schools. The population in all these villages was less than 300. There is a provision that primary schools must be within a radius of one km and higher primary within three km. However, if a village does not have a population of 300, these norms are not mandated. Therefore, these villages do not qualify. We had sent a proposal for schools in these villages. Eleven villages got schools.”

An official who did not wish to be named said, “Children of these villages study in nearby schools of other villages. They have to suffer a lot of problems because they travel long distances. Most of the villagers living in these villages are labourers or small farmers by profession.”

Some villages such as Makoniya, Amangarh, and Jhoolon Khatta have over 300 but are situated in forest lands where it is challenging to construct schools. There are over 150 children in these villages. However, many of them cannot read or write correctly. The remaining students study outside the forest areas, travelling long distances. However, such wards are very few. Kids of these hamlets spend their childhood in the darkness of dense forests and tending the cattle.

Interestingly, there are government primary schools in Alipura village, around 4 km away from the forest. However, people do not send their kids as they have to pass through dense woods. Children say they are scared of the roar of the tigers and the trumpets of the elephants as these animals are found in a large number in this area. To pass the site, they would have to risk their lives daily.