CHAKWAL: Baghzer, a hamlet, is located 35km to the north of Chakwal city. The village had two primary schools, one for boys and one for girls. To run primary schools in an effective way, the Punjab government a few years ago merged primary schools for boys and girls into one in the province.

The schools of Baghzer were also merged and the new school was named as “Government Model Primary School Baghzer’. But today, the school, with 35 students and three teachers, is deprived of even drinking water. The school building was damaged due to heavy rains in September but there are no funds to repair it.

The is not the only school which has no basic facilities rather there are a number of other institutions in the district which are grappling with missing facilities as Chakwal Education Department needs Rs2,574.226m to overcome the issues.

Chief Executive Officer District Education Authority (DEA) Iftikhar Nawaz Virk has written a letter to the higher authorities in which he sought Rs2574.226m to provide the missing facilities.

According to a document available with Dawn, there are 31 buildings of different schools which have been declared dangerous. The torrential rains in the first week of September damaged many buildings. To repair these dangerous buildings the DEA needs Rs124.600m.

The schools are also facing shortage of classrooms. The CEO sought construction of 180 additional classrooms in different schools and Rs537.600m are required for it. The boundary walls of 77 schools in the district also need to be reconstructed and Rs125.360m are needed for their reconstruction. Ironically, 37 schools in the district are without drinking water. The DEA needs Rs19.725m to provide drinking water in the 37 schools. The authority also requires Rs56.600m to construct toilets at 87 schools as these schools are without lavatories. Even at this age, 28 schools in the district are running without electricity and DEA needs Rs140m to install electricity at these schools. Moreover, 125 schools need furniture at a cost of Rs112m.

The situation is very pathetic at 86 high and higher secondary schools as they are running without science labs. An amount of Rs86m is required to establish science labs at these schools while 42 elementary schools and 10 high schools are without IT labs. The authority needs Rs43m to construct IT labs at these schools. Besides, 52 schools need to be upgraded for which Rs687m are needed. Twenty-six playgrounds need to be constructed for different schools in the district and Rs260m are required for the construction while 11 schools need multipurpose halls and an amount of Rs115.500m is required for it.

DEA also sought construction of a residential colony for officials and other staff members of the authority and Rs225m has been sought for it.

“We have requested the higher authorities to release these funds so that missing facilities at the schools could be provided,” CEO Virk told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2020

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