‘Physical’ education: Students made to unload book shipment

Staffer says students called to help when dept workers failed to show up, Headmaster says students volunteered.

Noor Soomro January 08, 2012


Students at a high school in Rahim Yar Khan were deprived of their holiday on Sunday, as they were “called to the school” to offload course books sent for schools in the district by the provincial government.

Muhammad Zahid, a staff member at Government Colony High School who was overseeing the offloading, told The Express Tribune that students had to be asked to offload bundles of course books as most of the Education Department staff provided for the task had not come to work on Sunday. He said the department had assigned the task to 50 grade-IV staff members but only eight of them were available on the day.

He said students of three classes as well as their teachers were called to help finish offloading in time. He said 100,000 textbooks had been sent by the government to be distributed among students at the public schools in the district. Headmaster Ehteshamul Haq denied that the students were called to the school on their holiday to offload the books.

He said some ninth and tenth grade students who had come to school to fill in their application forms for the annual examination had volunteered on their own to help with the job.

He said the government sent about 1.8 million books every year. “The department has dedicated staff for the task. The students were doing it on their own. No one required them to do so,” he said. Executive District Officer (Education) Ghulam Nazik Shahzad said he would inquire into the incident on resuming work on Monday (today).

He said action would be taken against the administration if it was established that they had called the students for the task.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2012.


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