PESHAWAR: A Khappa villager has illegally evicted more than 100 students and teachers from the building of the Government Girls Primary School, Khappa village on the outskirts of Peshawar.
The eviction has led to the closure of the only primary school in the area. The occupant, Gohar Khan, had donated the land, on which the school currently stands, in 1984.
The relevant officials said the eviction took place on September 1 this year to the misery of the village’s girls, who have left with no option but to stay indoors.
They said the top bosses of the district education office and district administration knew about the eviction but had yet to act against the landowner.
According to them, the Khappa school is not the only school in the province that is occupied.
Instead, it is one of around 360 government schools, which have long been occupied completely and partially in the province.
Claims he’d donated land for educational institution ‘temporarily’
Villagers have expressed concern over the closure of the school and said the future of their daughters was at stake.
The officials said while building his house 20 years ago, Gohar Khan had included the said school in it by constructing a boundary wall around the school though education activities continued in the school.
They said officials of the education department acted like a silent spectator over the inclusion of the government’s land in a private house.
When contacted, landowner said he had donated his land for the school ‘temporarily.’
“Now I am in dire need of my land, so I asked students and teachers to move out of it,” he said.
The villager claimed he had not transferred his land to the education department, so the department couldn’t lay claim to the land.
Additional secretary of the elementary and secondary education department Qaisar Alam Khan told Dawn that no one could occupy the government property.
“On Monday (tomorrow), I will ask the police to get the school building vacated and register an FIR against the occupant,” he said.
Some officials claimed the education department had no documents of the ‘donated’ land.
They said a large number of government schools would close down if donors began withdrawing their donated land because the education department at that time had not collected legal documents from landowners.
The officials said had the education department and district administration taken any action against landowner earlier, the precious time of over 100 schoolgirls would have not wasted. They said the occupant had changed the appearance of the school building by whitewashing blackboards, rooms and boundary wall.
Published in Dawn December 14th , 2014