Girls school in remote area lacks basic facilities

Updated February 11, 2019

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Students of Government Girls Primary School Mallpur attend class in the open. — Dawn
Students of Government Girls Primary School Mallpur attend class in the open. — Dawn

TAXILA: Though the PTI has come to power with the slogan of change, the plight of around 60 students of Government Girls Primary School Mallpur has not changed as they are still being denied basic facilities such as proper classrooms, furniture, drinking water and toilets.

The school was established in 1996 to carter to the need of the students in the remote and far-flung area. It has only two classrooms for the six classes from nursery to 5th. There are only two teachers to run the classes, making it impossible for them to deliver lessons, check copies and give homework.

Besides, there is only one washroom which shows the state of hygiene in the institute.

Proposal to provide missing facilities are included in ADP every year but dropped by higher authorities, official says

A garbage dump is established near the school that can be a source of dengue and malaria in the summer season.

The school has no proper furniture so the students have to sit on the floor to attend classes even during the chilly and rainy season.

A visit to the school by this correspondent showed the children belonging to poor families were without proper uniform, shoes and books. Some nursery students were attending classes without books.

Shahnaz, one of the students, said she was eager to get education but due to financial issues she could not be enrolled in a private school. She appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide the missing facilities to her school.

Sultan Khan, a parent, said he was a labourer and enrolled his daughter in the school. He said due to paucity of facilities his daughter was unable to acquire proper education.

Basharat Mehmood, a native of the area, said the government was running different programmes but on the ground the situation was totally different.

“It is unfortunate that our representatives are least bothered to provide proper education to our children,” said Asim Meer, the president of an NGO working in the area.

He said class-based education system was a major obstacle in the development of education sector, especially in the rural areas.

“If the PTI government wants to strengthen the education sector at the grassroots level and promote literacy, provision of missing facilities to schools should be ensured,” he added.

When contacted, Union Council Nazim Malik Mohammad Dawood said he would soon visit the school and work to ensure all the basic facilities through public and personal funds.

Khadija Bibi, the headmistress of the school, said the two rooms were unable to accommodate the students. She said the school had vast area on which three to four additional classrooms could be constructed. She said one teacher had been posted out and one post was lying vacant in the school.

Responding a question, she said most of the students came from a nearby seminary where they got religious education in the afternoon.

When contacted, Samina Batool, deputy district officer (female), said officials of the district and provincial education department knew about lack of staff and facilities at the school.

“We have requested them to visit the school to see for themselves in which conditions we are working. But nothing happens.”

She said though the school was without adequate staff and facilities, the enrollment was ‘encouraging’ as there was no other government school in the area. She said the department proposed provision of the missing facilities in the school and included it in the annual development plan (ADP) every year but the schemes were dropped by higher authorities due to unknown reasons.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2019