GHALANAI: Teachers, students and their parents have expressed concern over unavailability of textbooks in government schools in Mohmand Agency.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, they said the education department had failed to provide textbooks to thousands of students of middle and primary classes in different schools.

The government had pledged to provide free textbooks to students from class one to matriculation in each school in the tribal region to promote education.

Sources said the new session had been started in the first week of May instead of April due to the teachers strike, but still the department could not provide textbooks to students.

Teachers from across Fata had been on strike for last two months seeking upgradation of their ranks, shutting schools in the tribal region.

“I have 110 students in my school but the education department has provided books to only 50 of them m,” a head of a primary school said, adding only Pashto book was provided to the 4th class students.

Mohammad Hamid, a student, was upset at inordinate delay in provision of textbooks as teachers’ strike had already wasted their precious time.

A teacher of a government primary school, on condition of anonymity, said the school was only given five sets of textbooks against student strength of 75.

Meanwhile, parents made it clear that they would stop their children from going to school if textbooks were not provided soon.

An official of the education department admitted that some schools faced shortage of textbooks, but said most others had already been provided free books.

When contacted, agency education officer Saeed Gul said he had received complaints about shortage of textbooks, adding he would take up the matter with the education department.

Meanwhile, various government schools have refused to enrol those students who have passed primary examinations from the schools which have been closed under the government’s rationalisation programme.

A primary schoolteacher said if a student was not provided a certificate from the school he was leaving, he won’t be offered admission by others.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2016