PESHAWAR: The possible closure of a private school in Jogan Shah, a locality of Sikhs here, has caused unrest among the community people, who are unwilling to shift their children to any school away from their area over security concerns.

The owner of the building housing a private school plans to sell the property at Rs8 million and has asked the school’s management committee to either pay the price or vacate it within a week.

Radish Tony, a representative of the Sikh community, told Dawn on Monday that 250 students, both boys and girls, were enrolled in the middle school and there was no other school in the vicinity to accommodate the children.

“We have been trying to hold a meeting with education minister Atif Khan or Chief Minister Pervez Khattak but no one bothers to give us time,” Mr Tony said.

He said the building owner was a known businessman who had asked the school management to either vacate it within a week or purchase it,” he said. The parents are worried about their children as they do not want to send them to other schools out of the locality due to security issues, he added.

Mr Tony said there was a government-run school and the building could be used in the afternoon if allowed by the education department.

“It is a private school and government is not bound to provide building for the children. However, we will appreciate if the education department provides any alternative place for the purpose,” another Sikh leader Dr Sahib Singh said.

He suggested that there were two Sikh community (religious) schools in the area wherein the students of the private school could be accommodated.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2017

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