Flood damages 200 schools

District education authorities told to submit report about damages

ADNAN LODHI August 26, 2022
Residents clear debris of a damaged house due to a heavy monsoon rainfall on the outskirts of Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan on July 5, 2022. Photo: AFP


Around 200 school buildings have been damaged by the recent flood that disrupted educational activities in several areas of South Punjab.

Sources in the provincial school education department told The Express Tribune that the flood has destroyed or damaged schools in Jampur, Taunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Fazalpur and several over other areas of South Punjab.

They said the Punjab School Education Department had instructed the district education authorities to submit a report about damaged school buildings within a week.

Academic activities in the flood-hit districts are almost suspended due to the extensive destruction caused by the flood.

The flood caused cancellation of classes in hundreds of schools because of the damaged buildings, destruction in the areas and problems faced by the students, teachers and parents.

All the affected districts are currently facing a new rain and flood warning with no sign of life returning to normalcy. The Balochistan government announced earlier this week the closure of educational institutions in the province for a week due to a flood alert.

“According to education officials of various areas of South Punjab, school buildings have been damaged in parts of Jampur, DG Khan, Rajanpur, Taunsa, Fazalpur and adjoining localities. There are many schools where floodwater is still present,” said a senior official of Punjab School Education Department.

He said it had been estimated that over 200 primary, secondary and higher secondary schools of boys and girls had been destroyed or damaged.

“We will issue a complete list of the damage caused by the flood after completing our data next week,” he said.

He said the homes of many teachers and students in the affected areas had also been damaged.

The local people are also facing problems related to food availability, outbreak of diseases and assessment of their losses. Their assets, property, agricultural land and animals were also damaged along with the disruption of their children’s education.

“The Punjab School Education Department is aware of the situation and we have instructed the local education authorities o prepare a report about the destroyed schools buildings and infrastructure damage due to the flood. Officials of the district education authorities have been advised to send the reports within one week to the school education department so that it can take steps to continue academic activities in the flood-hit districts,” the official added.

Reports that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority has issued a new flood warning for previously affected areas has sparked fear among local people who had already suffered extensive losses.

“Floodwater entered and destroyed homes and our stored food items, including rice and wheat. At the moment we are struggling for life and bread and in this situation how we can send our children to schools. The situation is terrible and no one can understand our sufferings,” said Abdul Majid, a resident of Jampur.

He said the flood in his area this year was the worst.

Punjab Teachers Union secretary general Rana Liaqat Ali said the schools in the flood-hit areas were not officially closed and the teachers were struggling to revive the academic activities.

“It has come to our knowledge that around 200 government school buildings have been damaged. The government should start steps to repair the damaged buildings and release funds for the purpose,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2022.


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