The anti-corruption department has unearthed 12 ghost schools in different parts of Kohistan District. The department has also identified 60 teachers, a majority of them women, who have been drawing salaries for the past three years without actually working at the schools, Anti-Corruption Department Circle Officer Inspector Fazal Dad Khan told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.
He said the ghost schools were uncovered during visits, led by Anti-Corruption Department Assistant Director Javed Iqbal and Session Judge Kohistan Shafiq Tanoli, to different government girls and boys primary schools in Pattan, Sew, and Kandia. While some of school buildings had either been locked and lying empty for the past many years, others were found being used as cattle pens or to store firewood and fodder by influential people.
Khan said that locals testified that the schools had never been operational and that “no teacher or student had ever been enrolled in them”.
The visits were part of the investigations launched by the anti-corruption department following complaints of a number of non-operational government schools in Kohistan, said Khan. He informed that teachers from Haripur, Abbottabad, Swat, Mansehra and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) who were hired to serve in government schools in Kohistan did not assumed their duties but kept drawing salaries allegedly in connivance with accounts staff and some senior officials of the education department.
The inspector added that the accounts staff and senior officials of the education department kept 50 per cent of the teachers’ salaries for their ‘services’.
Khan said the matter has been brought to the notice of Provincial Director Syed Fiaz Ali Shah.
The inspector said that records of all those teachers who remained appointed in these school during the last three years and being gathered.
“We could go a decade back and find dozens of teachers and officials of education department involved in millions rupees worth scams, but initially we will focus only those officials who were posted at these schools during the last three years and kept drawing salaries without performing their duties,” he said.
The inspector informed that there are over 1,200 primary schools for boys and girls in the district.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2012.
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