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Schools in Mohmand border areas lack basic facilities

Schools in Mohmand border areas lack basic facilities

GHALANAI: Despite tall claims of the government to promote quality education in Fata, schools in border areas of Mohmand Agency lack even basic facilities like teachers and furniture.

The Fata education department and the local administration have failed to allocate proper funds for provision of needed facilities in these schools.

The only government middle school in the border Toor Khel Shandara valley of Biazai tehsil was built by Pak Army in June 2016 with more than 100 students, boys and girls, enrolled. But the school lacks teaching staff, furniture, boundary wall and others basic facilities.

“It is the only school in the area for a population of 3,000 people, but the schools is short of teachers and other facilities” Malik Zar Jan, a local resident, lamented. He said the school had no woman teacher for girl students Rahat Khan, who teaches in the school, said there were no boy or girl schools in Shandara, Toor Khel and Jarobi Darra border areas. He said there was also no playground facility in the Toor Khel Shandara school.

The teacher said the students had to sit on torn mats in the classrooms as the authorities didn’t provide desks to students. He said even teachers had no chairs to sit on. He said students consumed contaminated water in absence of a water-cooler in the school.

Shehrayar, a grade IV student, told Dawn he daily walked to the school covering a distance of three kilometres. He said students were forced to drink water from open tank.

Another student said her wish to play during break could not come true as there was no playground in the school.

Rustam, a grade III student, said students were compelled to drink hot water from buckets, which caused health problems.

A local resident told Dawn that a middle school was upgraded to the high school in Khwezai tehsil, but there was no high school in the entire Biazai subdivision. He demanded that the government set up a high school in the tehsil on emergency basis.

Elders said the school administration had sent countless reminders and requests to the education department to resolve the problems, but to no avail.

When contacted, Assistant Agency Education Officer, Ghalanai, Abdus Sattar Khan told Dawn the education department set up 55 community schools in the border area in 2004-05, but after militancy and bad law and order situation, it closed down some of the schools in 2008-09.

He said a boys’ primary school, which was set up in 2000 at Shandara was closed down due to militancy, adding the same school was reopened by Pak Army, upgrading it to middle school. He said appointing a female teacher to the school was difficult as she also needed proper accommodation.

CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING: Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Mohmand Agency branch, on Wednesday started a two-day capacity building training for community disaster response team (CDRT) volunteers in its local office in Ekkaghund.

At least 25 volunteers from various areas of Pandiali tehsil of lower Mohmand attended the workshop.

On the occasion, PRC disaster management manager for Fata Shehryar Khan and assistant director youth and volunteers Riaz Dawar described different aspects and objectives of the training.

They said in the first phase, volunteers from Mohmand would be trained, and in the second leg, volunteers from Bajaur, South Waziristan and Kurram Agencies would get trainings on disaster management.

They said that a CDRT team would be formed at every tehsil in the tribal region to ensure that they timely responded to emergency situations.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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