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September 19, 2019

Tirah residents seek construction of new schools

Peshawar

September 19, 2019

TIRAH: The people of Maidan area in Tirah valley in Khyber district have asked the government to construct new schools to provide educational facilities to the children of the poor people.

They said people in Maidan were displaced during militancy and they returned to native areas in 2013, but no government school has been established so far.

The local people said that hundreds of students belonging to Maidan had no option but to go to schools located in the Kurram district near the boundary of the Khyber district.

Talking to The News, Muhammad Usman Afridi said the militants had destroyed over a 100 schools and health facilities in the Bara tehsil in Khyber district during the decade-long militancy.

He said the work on several school buildings was launched in Maidan area five years ago but it was yet to be completed.

“The resourceful people send children to private schools but the poor cannot,” Muhammad Usman pointed out, adding thousands of children were thus deprived of the basic right to education.

He said that they had already suffered a lot whereas their houses, guesthouses and business markets were set on fire by the militants when they had left Maidan and relocated to other areas for safety.

“Now we are facing a host of problems, including a lack of education and health facilities. The damaged road infrastructure and business centres could not be restored in the last five years,” another tribesman Muhammad Aqib complained as he talked to this scribe.

He said when the security forces restored the government writ in Maidan area in Tirah valley in 2013, the previous federal government had provided funds to carry out development projects in the education and health sectors and reconstruct the roads but no scheme was completed thus far.

“The children studying at the public sector schools have been receiving education under the open sky for several years,” he lamented.

He alleged the government has been unable to ensure the construction of the damaged schools’ buildings.

The tribesman demanded recruitment of local educated youth in the government schools to save their children from the daily fatigue of going to schools in other tribal districts.

“A large number of our children have quit studies owing to the absence of teaching staff at schools,” he added.

He said the former political administration had announced in 2016 to build 27 new government schools in Tirah as the region was lagging in the field of education.

“Construction work on a number of these schools started five years ago as the process continues at a snail’s pace due to lack of interest by government contractors to complete the work,” he said.

He added that the construction work could not be carried out in winter due to snowfall and harsh weather conditions.

Another tribal elder, Muhammad Ali, said three such schools were almost completed in his village in Bar Qambarkhel but the Education Department was unwilling to commence classes at the building for allegedly poor construction quality.

The people demanded the government to inspect the buildings of the schools and award punishment to the contractors if the constructions were found substandard or faulty.

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