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Lawlessness blamed for Fata education woes

October 05, 2012

LANDI KOTAL/KHAR/ GHALANAI, Oct 5: Speakers at a Salam Teachers Day function here on Friday complained about lawlessness in tribal areas and said mostly, teachers didn’t perform duty for security reasons with education sector being on the receiving end.

They also regretted unavailability of proper transport and boarding facilities for teachers in most tribal agencies.

According to them, shortage of teaching staff and overcrowded classrooms is to blame for low literacy rate in Fata.

Fata assistant director (education) Hashim Khan said Salam Teachers Day was being observed to create better public awareness of education.

He said teachers continued to enjoy respect in society as they built character of future generation.

“Teachers must realise their responsibilities and should discharge duty honestly and diligently,” he said.

Mr Hashim said teachers must not make the prevailing delicate law and order situation an excuse to shirk duty as the situation wanted them to do their tasks more diligently for education development in Fata, which lagged far behind in the field compared with other regions of the country.

“The gap can only be bridged through sincere efforts by teachers,” he said.

Assistant education officer of Khyber Agency Mohammad Ashraf said Salam Teachers Day reminded people of the importance of teachers’ role in society.

“Our students are very talented but they could become doctors, engineers and successful citizens only by proper coaching and guidance of teachers,” he said, adding that both students and their parents must understand the importance of the role of teachers in their lives.

Assistant education officer (female) Shazia Sharif said around 90 per cent of female teachers performed duty in tribal areas despite being posted to extremely inhospitable environments and far-flung localities. “Transportation and boarding are their two major problems, which need to be addressed on a priority basis, if 100 per cent presence of female teachers in Fata schools is to be achieved,” she said. On the occasion, 20 male and 10 female teachers were given performance certificates.

In Khar, a function was organised to mark Salam Teachers’ Day.

Participants, including teachers, tribal elders, political leaders, ulema and social workers, complained about shortage of teachers and other basic facilities in government-run educational institutions of Bajaur Agency.

They demanded early steps by the government for improvement of educational facilities in the agency.

Participants said education was the basic right of all citizens and the government was responsible for provision of equal educational facilities to people, They, however, said unfortunately, most children in tribal areas were denied the right to education.

According to them, tribal areas are part of Pakistan but the successive governments considered their residents second-rate citizens.

Participants also blamed militancy and poverty for lack of educational facilities in tribal region.

They said most school buildings in the agency, especially those in faraway areas, were in shambles and that many schools were understaffed and without basic facilities.

In Ghalanai, agency education officer of Mohmand Agency Said Mohammad Khan on Friday distributed certificates and prizes to around 100 best teachers of government schools and colleges.

During a Salam Teachers’ Day function, he said no country could succeed unless it gave due respect to its teachers.

He said everyone in society should hold teachers in high esteem for bright future. The AEO asked students to respect teachers for success in life.