No electricity: Forty schools in Chiniot district running off grid

Published: December 15, 2015
EDO says schools to have electricity connections or solar panels in six months. PHOTO: AFP

EDO says schools to have electricity connections or solar panels in six months. PHOTO: AFP

FAISALABAD: ‘Let’s spread the light of education’ slogan may be etched on every other banner announcing the government’s education reforms, yet 40 public schools in the rural areas of Chiniot district are without electric lights and basic amenities the government claims to have provided to all schools.

Several teachers at these schools, mostly located in far flung areas, say that the students sometimes have to rely on candles and oil lamps to be able to see the blackboard and their textbooks, especially during the foggy winter days.

Chiniot Education Executive District Officer Muhammad Mansha Meo says they are aware of the situation. “We have been trying our best to provide electricity lines to schools in rural areas.” These public schools are located in Chiniot tehsil, Lalian tehsil and Bhowana tehsil.

Meo says they had filed requests for electricity fittings to the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company. The FESCO authorities have also issued directions to the relevant divisional and sub divisional officers to provide electricity to 11 schools. He said they were in the process of issuing demand notices for electricity fittings at 19 other schools. “We have received demand notices issued by the FESCO for four schools and are making arrangements for funds to get electricity connections on priority basis.”

He said another plan in the works was to install solar panels at some of these schools. “Especially schools in areas where FESCO does not have electricity distribution lines.”

Meo said that the government was considering this alternative seriously. “We are planning to invite bids for the installation of solar panels at these schools soon…the process of providing electricity to all 40 schools should be complete in six months.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2015.

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