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Women’s Day: Elders demand education facilities for girls in Dir

March 10, 2018

PESHAWAR: As the world observed International Women's Day on March 8, elders and parents of the girl students in remote villages of Upper Dir district complained that the government had failed to make any arrangements for the education of their daughters up to matric even in the 21st century.

"The national and international NGOs, federal and provincial governments and concerned authorities make tall claims, particularly on the Women's Day, but our daughters cannot continue education after qualifying middle (class-8) examination," said Malik Abdur Rashid alias Lala.

Lala said that there was only one Government Girls Middle School in Kalkot tehsil and a primary school for girls in Biar. He added that these schools are educating girl students from Patrak, Biar, Barikot, Kalkot, Lamotai, Taal and other villages, but majority of the female students give up education after qualifying middle class examination as there is no high school in the area.

He recalled that in 2004 Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had announced free books and sports kits, besides Rs200 for every student to promote girls' education and persuade the poor parents to continue educating their daughters. However, he said the chief minister didn't make any arrangements or provide incentives for higher education.

"The Government Girls High School is 38 kilometres away in Sheringal and majority of the parents could not afford to send their daughters there," he said, adding, that only a few among the students appear in matric examination privately."

"The majority of girls after passing middle examination get admission in local madrassas," Lala maintained. He said the parents had suggested to the government to make arrangements for girls' education in the school in Barikot that was reconstructed after its destruction in the 2010 floods but the plea wasn't accepted.

He said that a female student has to spend Rs200 as fare to commute daily for attending the high school in Sheringal. Though he was not aware of the exact figure, he said more than 300 students abandon education after appearing in the middle examination every year.

Lala recalled that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had sanctioned a high school for girls in Barikot two years ago and a local elder Malik Azam Shah had even donated land for the purpose, but that plan could not see the light of the day.

"We have been reminding the authorities and local MPA Mohammad Ali but all were offering mere lip-service," he said. Instead of building a new high school for girls, the elders said, the government should provide their children an opportunity to get matric level education in the recently reconstructed middle school at Barikot.

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