SHANGLA: A government primary and a middle school here have been awaiting reconstruction since the buildings collapsed during the 2010 devastating floods, forcing the students, including girls, to study in cramped conditions in rented houses.

According to the local education department, a new building was constructed after upgradation of the middle school, but it collapsed in the 2010 floods.

Bilawal Khan, a grade 6 student, said the house rented for running the classes of the middle school, did neither have electricity, clean drinking water nor proper washrooms.

He said they also did not have desks and benches to sit on. He said due to absence of a girls school in the area the female students also had to study in the rented house.

Sixth grader Maheen Bibi said she wanted to get education to become a teacher, but absence of facilities was a hurdle to her ambition.

Eighth grader Naveed Khan said due to space issue students of two classes were stuffed in one room.

The schoolteachers told Dawn that 160 students were enrolled in the middle school and 280 in the primary school. They said the rented buildings had no space to conduct the morning assembly.

When contacted, Ubaidullah, sub-divisional education officer for planning and development, Shangla, told Dawn that the newly-constructed building of the school collapsed before being handed over to the education department. However, he said to accommodate the students the department had arranged buildings on rent.

He said the department paid Rs15,000 rent for the middle school and Rs14,000 for the primary school.

He said the education department

had submitted several requests to the provincial government to include the school in the annual development programme.

Mr Ubaidullah said out of the 26 schools destroyed in the floods, only three could be rebuilt till date.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022

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