According to an official, girls could not go to schools in some areas because of security reasons. - Photo by APP (File Photo)

KALAYA: About 9,000 children have started going to schools in lower and central tehsils of Orakzai Agency after the authorities made makeshift arrangements for students of 68 boys and girls schools, which were destroyed in militancy. “Around 172 tents have been provided to these schools and classes are regularly being arranged for around 9,000 children, who recently returned from relief camps in Kohat and Hangu districts,” said Orakzai Agency Political Agent Riaz Khan Mehsud while talking to media persons on Sunday.

He said that a foreign donor agency had donated tents for the militancy-hit government schools.

However, an official told this correspondent that girls could not go to schools in some areas because of security reasons. He said that militants were still present in some pockets of the central tehsil and the authorities could not reopen schools in these areas.

Orakzai Agency is considered the most backward area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and has the lowest literacy rate among tribal regions. Recently, militants have blown up the only degree college for women in the area.

“Girls are not allowed to go to schools in this tribal region, particularly in central tehsil,” the official said and added that educational institutions in upper tehsils were still closed due to the military operation against militants. He said that majority of the female teachers were non-locals, who could not join their duties.

Mr Mehsud said that normalcy was returning to the areas, which had been cleared from militants. He said that the security forces had restored the government writ in 90 per cent areas of Orakzai Agency.

“Reopening of schools show that the government’s writ has been restored in many areas,” he maintained.

The political agent said that over 140,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) had returned to their homes in Goyeen, Ferozkhel, Meshti Mela, Meshti bazaar and Utmankhel areas. He said that the return process of the remaining IDPs would be resumed very soon.

He said that lady doctors of the Army Medical Corps had been deputed in main hospital Kalaya while mobile health units were also working in the conflict-hit areas.

Mr Mehsud said that peace committees comprising elders and local officials had been set up in militancy-free areas. He praised the role of these committees and said that law and order situation had improved in their respective areas.

Meanwhile, the directorate of forests will carry out tree plantation over 700 acres in Orakzai Agency during the upcoming spring. Officials said that Levies personnel and students would be engaged in the plantation campaign.

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