NAROWAL: The Govt Girls Elementary School lacks electricity, clean drinking water and a boundary wall, while locals tether their donkeys in classrooms.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal had ordered to upgrade the school in Dhan Wadday to elementary level in order to provide better educational facilities for girls in his constituency of NA-117 Narowal 3. A building was constructed at Rs4 million outside the village on four kanal and the minister had inaugurated it in 2015.
Classrooms had been constructed without planning and the facilities of boundary wall, electricity and drinking water were missing. There was no way to even get to the school, which was built in fields. Due to non-availability of basic facilities, classes could not be commenced even after two years of inauguration of the school.
Power, water, boundary wall not provided; locals tether donkeys in classes
This lack of interest from District Education Authority led to local influentials keeping their donkeys in the school, while the school’s windows, doors and other articles had been stolen over the years.
Muhammad Ashraf Jutt and Sajjad Husain, fathers of two students, said: “We have contacted the education department and district administration in this connection, but they paid no attention. Students have to go to far-off villages in severe weather conditions.”
Muhammad Anwar, the contractor concerned, claimed: “The government awarded me a contract for the classrooms which I built. Electricity, water supply, boundary wall and a path to the school was not included in my contract.”
He further said: “There is no electricity facility near the school, so the Water and Power Development Authority will have to erect electricity poles first, which will cost Rs1.5 million. And water supply is impossible without electricity. It is the duty of the government and political leaders to plan these things.”
Narowal District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Ghias Sabir said: “It’s not in my knowledge. We have no budget for the school’s boundary wall, but we will supply electricity and water at the earliest.”
Deputy Commissioner Rafaqat Ali Naswana, who is also the chairman of the District Education Authority, said: “We will do everything to ensure classes start at the school after June and will try to provide basic facilities.”
Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2017