BATTAGRAM: Even in this modern era of science and technology, the girls of tehsil Alai have been deprived of higher education as there is no state-run girls’ high school for over 300,000 population of the area.
The only high school for girls that was built by a non-governmental organisation in 2015 is yet to be made functional. Constructed by Save the Children at a cost of Rs20 million, the high school for girls in Rabat area of Alai tehsil was handed over to education department in January 2015.
However, the education department has not opened the school even after lapse of one year. The first-ever school for girls, having all modern facilities for students and teachers, was inaugurated by Hazara Commissioner Arbab Mohammad Arif after its completion.
The local people said that delay in opening of the much-wanted girls’ school was caused owing to red-tape and lethargy of officials concerned. The girl students and their parents had been waiting eagerly for opening of the school for the last one year, they added.
The local people criticised government for what they called its apathy towards the people of this backward area. “If the government itself can’t spend a meagre amount to construct a school for girls in this backward tehsil then why the education authorities are using delaying tactics to make this NGO-made school functional,” they questioned.
The residents of the area said that their children particularly girls couldn’t continue their studies after passing the 8th grade examinations. They said that female literacy was vital for progress of any nation but the government officials were not ready to listen to their request.
Shah Abdul Qadir, the head teacher of middle school in Cheeran, who had donated land for the girls’ school, said that he donated his precious land to the NGO for the school to provide opportunity of education to the girls of the backward area. However, he regretted that the school was yet to be made functional after its completion one year ago.
Naimatullah, a local resident, alleged that through a pre-planned conspiracy the poor people of Alai were deprived of education. He accused the elected representatives and political leadership for not raising voice for the right of the people of Alai.
Abida Shaheen, the district education officer (female), when contacted, said that a team headed by assistant director planning and development (P&D) Attaullah Shah had come from Peshawar last week and visited the school. She hoped they the team would submit a report to finance division for approval.
Mr Shah, when contacted, said that 15 to 20 schools were built by NGOs and handed over to education department. He said that teams were formed to check the schools and submit their recommendations for further action. He said that the reports would be sent to finance division for final approval.
The official said that after approval of finance department, staff would be recruited for those schools and educational activities would be started there.
Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2016