KHAR: Students staged a protest demonstration on Sunday against the closure of 9th and 10th classes in their school in Salarzai tehsil of Bajaur Agency.

Score of students and youths of the area attended the demonstration held on Shasari-Pashat road, one of the far-flung localities of the tehsil.

They slammed the local education department for closure of the classes in the government high school, Shasari. They said that the decision would affect over 120 students.

They said that the school management had asked them to leave the school and get enrolled in other schools. The protesters said that the decision was taken on the orders of officials of local education department.

They also complained about the absence of principal and shortage of teaching staff in the school, adding that over half of the posts of teachers, including the headmaster, had been lying vacant since long.

The protesting students said that they had brought the issue of shortage of teachers into the notice of senior officials of education department, local administration and even the local lawmaker, but to no avail.

Official says 9th and 10th classes closed due to teachers shortage

They said that the officials of education department did not bother to visit the school to know about the problems being faced by the students and teachers.

They appealed to the governor, additional chief secretary Fata, director of education Fata and officials of the local administration to take serious notice of the closure of higher classes in their school.

They warned to launch a protest movement if their classes weren’t restored immediately.

When contacted, Mohammad Madian, assistant education officer, confirmed that 9th and 10th grade classes in the Shasari high school were closed a few days ago owing to shortage of teaching staff. He said that at least seven posts of senior teachers in the school had been lying vacant since along.

However, he claimed that the closure of classes was temporary and these would be restarted when the school would get adequate teaching staff.

LPG SHORTAGE: Lack of liquefied petroleum gas for the past few days has irked the people of Bajaur Agency.

Talking to this scribe, the residents said on Sunday that they had been visiting the local bazaars but didn’t find the gas in any bazaar, including Khar.

When approached, the dealers in Khar, Sadiqabad and other areas confirmed the shortage of LPG in the agency for the last couple of days. They said that the main distributers had assured them of resuming LPG supply soon.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2017