MIRAMSHAH, April 23: The political administration closed down a historical semi-government English medium school in Miramshah, North Waziristan Agency, owing to financial constraints.

Officials said that political administration issued notification about the closure of Tochi Public School, having historical importance as it was the oldest English medium educational institution in the tribal areas.

The school, established in 1967, used to receive Rs700,000 annual grant from federal government.

The closure of Tochi Public School exposed tall claim of the government regarding provision of quality education to the tribal youths. Earlier Razmak Cadet College was shifted from North Waziristan to Peshawar because of insurgency and its building was occupied by security forces. The students of the college attend classes in a rented building at the provincial capital.

A teacher of the school said that staff had been intimated that political administration could not manage funds to run the institution. He said that teachers had not been paid their salaries for the last eight months.

The strength of the teaching staff was reduced from 30 to 16 and they had been running from pillar to post for payment of salaries. The administration had also banned fresh recruitments in the school that badly affected quality of teaching.

Initially over 700 students from different areas of North Waziristan were studying in the school. Presently around 200 students were studying in Tochi Public School.

Sources said the administration closed the school at a time when federal government had approved Rs50 million for construction of hostels for students and teachers. They said that the school's building situated near security installations would be used for other purposes.

The parents and elders expressed anguish over the closure of school and asked government to review decision.

The head of the action committee, Mohammad Kahlil, asked government to reopen the school to save future of hundreds of children. He said that government should open more schools in the tribal areas to provide quality education to youths.—Correspondent

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