On the back burner: Gujar Khan school building in shambles

Students forced to sit in the open due to lack of classrooms

Javed Chishti April 03, 2016
The school also lacks a boundary wall and risks losing ground to a graveyard that lies next to it. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KALLAR SYEDAN: The condition of Government Boys High School Mirza Kambili in Sui Chamian union council of Gujar Khan tehsil speaks volumes about the Punjab government’s lack of concern for education in remote areas.

The school was built by locals themselves on a donated piece of land in 1948. The school has been in dire need of repair and expansion for years.

Cracks have appeared in many parts of the building. Students and staff fear any part of it may collapse at any time.

The school was elevated to a middle school in 1952 and made a high school in 1989. Spread over 21 kanals and two marlas, it is the only government-run school for boys in the union council.

Currently, 190 students are enrolled in it.

The number of students has increased but the building could not be expanded. As a result, two classes have to sit in the ground outside.

The school administration told Daily Express that the government approved Rs2.7 million to construct two additional classrooms at the school. The funds, however, have not been released to date due to negligence of the education department, which issued a tender but gave the school’s name as the girls’ school. The process has been halted and the project has been delayed. The school is also short of teaching staff. Currently, six sanctioned position are vacant.

Iftikhar Ahmed Warsi, member Punjab Assembly for the area, said directives had been issued to relevant officials to solve the matter.

Sui Chamian union council vice-chairman Abrar Hussain said the issue of delay in release of funds had been taken up with Raja Muhammad Javed Ikhlas, member National Assembly for the area and a PML-N stalwart, and MPA Warsi. He said he was optimistic about resolution of the problem.

Local PTI leader Dr Amjad Hussain, however, said that the Punjab government was not willing to do anything except verbal announcements.

Students, teachers, and locals have appealed to the government to carry out repair and maintenance work at the earliest.

Further, the school has no boundary wall and risks losing land to a graveyard which lies next to it.

Sajid Nisar, a building department official, blamed the education department for the mistake in the tender. He, however, said the matter would be resolved soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th,  2016.



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