— Dawn
— Dawn

MURREE: A recent windstorm has damaged the roof of a historic school in Potha Shareef, the second oldest in the region, turning its classrooms into roofless ruins.

The more than a hundred year old building is no longer suitable for students, as the remaining portion of the school is too dangerous, the school’s headmaster Khalid Abbasi told Dawn.

The school was established as a primary school during British rule in the 1880s in a remote part of Murree town near the Jhelum River. It was upgraded to a high school in 1954.

A local teacher and former student, Hassan Akhtar Abbasi, said that the school has produced a number of scholars from various walks of life.

He said without the school, it would have been difficult for locals of such a remote area to get an education.

Mr Akhtar Abbasi said the local elected representatives and concerned department should take notice of the situation immediately, and the school building should be maintained so studies can resume.

The school’s headmaster said that the school management committee has met twice to consider ways to repair the school, while MPAs retired Maj Latasab Abbasi and Abida Raja and the district officer schools have also visited the sitr and assured that the contractor that built the school will be contacted to reconstruct it.

However, he said many days have passed and no practical work has started yet.

When contacted, Ms Raja said the contractor would be forced to rebuild the school.

The contractor, Ishaq Abbasi, said that he completed work on the school two years ago, and called his work excellent.

He said a windstorm had damaged the roof two years after his work was completed, but he was willing to carry out repairs in the interest of the school.

However, he said, he was being forced to construct a concrete roof which was not possible because it would be too expensive.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2019