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Rainy day is holiday in dilapidated school

Updated March 10, 2015

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KASUR: Instead of using funds on reconstruction of new safe buildings of schools in place of the dilapidated ones, the departments concerned are spending them on constructing boundary walls and toilet blocks in other schools, Dawn has learnt.

Children at the Government Primary School Sheikhupura Kohna have a holiday whenever it rains there as their school has no classrooms. During the recent rains and cold weather, the students had holidays and this has been going on for the last five years.

The students have classes in the open as the three-room building of the school has been declared unfit for use due to cracks.

The school, established in the 1960s on a self-help basis by villagers with a single room, now accommodates 132 students. Its present structure was built in 1985 but the building was declared dangerous about five years back, forcing students to attend classes in the ground. There are only two teachers in the school for all the students and subjects. The school got electricity for the first time a few months back.

School Committee chairman Mirza Naseeb Baig says they have registered repeated complaints with the education department but got no response, adding the school has insufficient furniture, one hand pump but no fans.

Villagers Muhammad Aslam, Asif Ali, Karamat and Khushi Muhammad demand the government not only to construct the school building but also to upgrade it . They say the village, consisting 400 houses, has only two primary schools -- one each for boys and girls.

They say girls of the non-affording families stop getting education after primary education as they either do not afford private schools or going to the city.

EDO Education Zulfiqar Ahmed says the Government Primary School Sheikhupura Kohna is one of the several schools whose buildings have been declared dangerous but the department lacks funds.

He regrets that the education sector is given a very low share in the budget while its problems are countless, adding the political intervention also makes it difficult for the department to give prioritise schools that are in more need of funds. He claims that he has already sent a proposal to the district administration regarding this school.

It is learnt that seven schemes had been approved for the construction of additional classrooms, 47 schemes for boundary walls, and 27 schemes had been given a go-ahead for toilet blocks.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2015

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