Sunday, 8 March 2015

Dir Still Remain in Ruins.

Schools destroyed by militants in Lower Dir still remain in ruins

Classroom of a school in Lower Dir
Classroom of a school in Lower Dir
The continued showers of the rain and the cold weather further adds to the miseries of students studying in the Government Primary and High School of Maidan Bandai Dir Lower when they have to slack the thirst of their knowledge by sitting under the open sky. The situation becomes worse when they have to attempt the examination by holding Umbrella in one hand and attempt the paper through the other hand. It is indeed an arduous task for the students who are yet to have a proper classroom for their school which was demolished by the militants in 2009.
While the PTI led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has taken some encouraging steps in the field of education and consider it their top priority, the plight of Government Primary and High School in Maidan Bandai area of Lower Dir are still in ruins and need serious attention of the concerned authorities.
During the military operation against the militants in 2009 in Maidan Bandai area of Dir Lower, the militants had blown up a number of schools in the area which also included GPS and GHS Maidan Bandai Dir Lower. Though the PARSSA, Pak Army and lots of nongovernmental organizations carried out rehabilitation work in the schools affected by the militancy, however, these two schools remain deprived of being reconstructed and rehabilitated. T
The ANP Led government which used to take credit of establishing new universities, colleges and primary schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, did not show any resolve in their five-year term to reconstruct these schools. They failed to give a safe shelter to the students of the said schools.
The issue has been highlighted in the media time and again, however not a single brick has been put in place to start work on the rehabilitation of these schools.
Students attempting their exams under open sky in rain
Students attempting their exams under Open Sky
Students have to suffer more in the rainy season particularly when either the teachers have to send them back to their homes or teach them in the nearby mosque. Last year, when a photograph of the students of the said school taking exam while holding umbrellas in their hands was published in the newspapers, the then Governor Engr Shaukatullah Khan and Senior Minister Siraj Ul Haq took notice of the issue. However, no practical steps have been taken so far to complete the rehabilitation work.
It is worth mentioning here that Chairman District Development Advisory Committee Dir Lower Mr. Saeed Gul is also an elected MPA from the said constituency of Maidan. He belongs to Jamaat-e-Islami which in power in KPK as a coalition partner of Tehreek-e-Insaf. However, he is yet to take any concrete steps to reduce the miseries of the students and teachers studying/teaching in the said schools.
Lower Dir School
The plight of the school in Lower Dir

Locals of the area and parents have time and again approached the political leaders, officials of the education department but they seem to be less concerned about this awful situation. “Indeed it is a dilemma that no one has taken a serious interest in rebuilding these schools and the poor parents are now more worried who cannot afford to send their children to private schools”, said Engr Hanifullah Khan, a social activist who has worked hard to bring this issue to the notice of concerned authorities.
One wonders that if there is an educational emergency declared in the province, why rebuilding process of these schools is not given a top priority. People of the area are increasingly getting disillusioned from PTI and its allied parties for not living up to the expectations to bring a change in the education sector.
Education is the backbone of any nation and without it none can progress or prosper. The teaching staff and the children are worth praising who fight the odds and continue to engage in the teaching and learning process in such worst situation. However, if serious efforts are not made to improve the deplorable condition of the school building, it may exacerbate the already low literacy rate in the area.

The Author
Asif Khan Shinwari, UET Graduate Engineer and UOP Graduate in Sociology, have a great zeal and interest in freelancing for online news and study institutes.
He will surely regularly write for Pashto Times in the coming days.

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