TOBA TEK SINGH: The only government higher secondary school for girls from several villages of Gojra tehsil is facing severe shortage of staff for its higher secondary section due to which not only the current 200 students of intermediate classes were suffering, but new admissions were also declining.

Muhammad Shafiq of Chak 279-JB Darapur, Bashir Ahmad of Chak 93-JB and some other parents told the media that the girls high school located 12km from Gojra in Chak 283-JB Dawakhri had been upgraded to higher secondary level 17 years ago and at that time 16 posts of teaching staff were approved for intermediate classes. But only four of the posts were filled and the remaining still vacant.

They said people from several villages could not send their daughters to colleges as sending them to Gojra or Faisalabad by buses was a risk; local women could not comfortably travel in buses that were overloaded with men.

Ahmad said decades ago there was a railway station adjacent to his village and some passenger trains stopped there. Those trains helped hundreds of local girls get education in Faisalabad or Gojra. But now even though the railway station was still functional, it was only a crossing station where goods or passenger trains stopped to give way to an express train otherwise there was no ticket office for passengers.

School Principal Parveen Akhtar claimed there were 700 students in secondary and more than 200 in higher secondary sections. She claimed she had repeatedly sought appointment of staff for the higher secondary section and written to the authorities about lack of chairs and desks due to which girls were forced to sit on the ground, especially during hours-long power outages.

Executive District Officer (Education) Rao Attiq Ahmad claimed the Punjab education secretary was aware of the issue and hoped the problems would be resolved post the 2016-17 budget.

The Punjab government approved recruitment on 85 posts of teaching and other staff for the recently upgraded 16 government schools of the district.

PML-N MPA Chaudhry Amjad Ali Javed had said on Monday that in his PP-86 constituency here four primary and two middle schools had been upgraded to middle and secondary levels, respectively for which 34 posts of staff had been created.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2016