Landi Kotal schools bleed students owing to insufficient facilities

Locals say teachers and staff are truant with little in the way of education offered


Abuzar Afridi May 20, 2019
A representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

LANDI KOTAL: Despite claims of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government of bringing about a revolution in the education sector of the province, schools in the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas and now under the provincial government still lack basic facilities, prompting scores of children to leave schools.

The Government Girls Primary School in Misal Khan Kali in the Khyber tribal district have an insufficient number of teachers apart from lacking basic facilities such as water, electricity and proper classes. Only one or two teachers show up to conduct classes and on some days, there are no teachers in the school and senior students have to fill in that role by teaching the lower grades.

Some teachers, who have been assigned to teach at the school, have not even visited the facility for the past five years. However, they allegedly regularly draw their salary from the K-P education department.

After the education affairs in the tribal districts were handed over to the provincial government in line with the merger, some teachers had visited the schools last month to set their attendance records straight, local resident Abdul Azam Shinwari told The Express Tribune.

At the Government Girls Primary School (GGPS) in Landi Kotal, the tehsil headquarters of the Khyber tribal district, many students have left the school owing to a shortage of teaching staff and lack of other facilities.

When these school first opened, they boasted over 350 and 400 female students respectively. But due to the absence of teachers, drinking water, and furniture, these numbers dropped to just 50.

Locals fear that if the current state of affairs continues, the school may soon lose all students. Even though the issue has been raised before the education department several times, no action has been taken against teachers or other school staff, Shinwari stated.

Local elders echoed Shinwari’s sentiments, noting that the issue has been brought to the notice of relevant authorities, but problems remain unresolved.

They added that the future of dozens of female students of the Shamlan area in Landi Kotal is uncertain owing to the apathy of the Education Department. An officer of the education department, who spoke to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, expressed his helplessness at addressing the situation.

He explained that they have made repeated attempts to hold teachers appointed at these schools accountable.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2019.

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