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Khyber’s militancy-hit schools yet to be rebuilt

LANDI KOTAL:

Out of 128 schools destroyed and damaged in militancy in Khyber tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) only seven have been reconstructed so far.
The remainder of 121 schools are waiting to be reconstructed despite the passage of several years.
Talking to The Express Tribune official sources said that in total 128 schools were either damaged or completely destroyed in the wave of militancy in the district.
He said that the total population of the district is 985,000 and there were 701 primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools as well as colleges in the district.
“There are 567 schools in the district of which 299 are boys’ schools and 268 are girls’ schools. There are 77 middle schools in which 42 are boys’ schools and 35 are girls’ schools,” he informed this reporter, saying that there were 47 high schools of which 37 were boys’ schools and 10 were girls’ schools.
In addition to it, there are six higher secondary schools of which four are for male and two for female students.
“There are two degree colleges in which three are male colleges and one is girls’,” he said, adding that there were a total 68,000 boys and 50,000 girls enrolled in these education institutions.
“It was announced that around 50 schools will be reconstructed with Chinese assistance in Khyber but despite announcements, funds were never ever released and the entire project is pending,” he said, adding that due to this in the 121 schools children had been forced to use tents for classrooms.
When contacted, Deputy District Education Officer (DDEO) Hayatullah confirmed that most of the schools destroyed in the militancy were awaiting reconstruction. He said that 50 schools were to be rebuilt with Chinese financial assistance but the release of funds had been delayed for it.
It is worth mentioning here that Mangal Bagh-led Lahker-e-Islam was responsible for the closure and destruction of most of schools in Khyber district. Schools have not only been destroyed in Khyber but also in the adjacent Darra Adam Khel, Mohmand, Orakzai and Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar.
This drive by militants to target girls schools badly impacted the girls education. But in Khyber militancy forced the closure of both male and female schools.
In most of the cases only government schools were destroyed in the attacks and some of them were even destroyed after reconstruction.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2021.

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