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Peshawar's Sikh community school gets new lease on life

September 06, 2017
Located in Jogan Shah area the Rising Hope Public School is the only school providing education to the Sikh community. — DawnNews
Located in Jogan Shah area the Rising Hope Public School is the only school providing education to the Sikh community. — DawnNews

A school run by the Sikh community in Peshawar will continue operations after fears arose earlier that it would have to halt operations after being asked to vacate premises on Wednesday.

The Rising Hope Public School located in Peshawar’s Jogan Shah area, next to a historical Gurdwara, is the only private school providing education to the Sikh community in the area.

Principal Gurpal Singh explained that the school administration does not own the property where it is built, "and this is a problem" as it has had to change three buildings due to various problems.

Earlier today, the owner of the premises had asked the admiministration to vacate the building as it was to be sold, Gurpal said.

However, the crisis was averted after the administration approached the new owner of the building and requested them to allow the school to continue operations over there.

"The new owner agreed to give the building on rent to the school management at new contract," Gurpal said, adding that the new owner had also increased the monthly rent of the building from Rs30,000 to Rs35,000 and the security deposit of Rs150,000 to Rs300,000.

"However, this is a temporary solution and the community wants to see a more permanent solution to the problem," the principal said, adding that they were looking to the government for a permanent solution to the problem.

Gurpal said that the school’s administration had also approached the provincial education department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for a permanent building for the school but to no avail.

However, earlier today when the issue had yet to be resolved, the PTI had tweeted offering students at Rising Hope enrollment in other KP public schools.

Rising Hope Public School began as a single-room school almost three years ago, and had attracted a number of children from the neighbourhood.

Over 250 students, including girls, are currently enrolled in school which primarily runs on community donations.

Over 50 per cent of the students, mostly from the Sikh community, are receiving free education at the school.

Although Rising Hope is a Sikh community school, it also serves Christian, Hindu and Muslim students.