Education amidst fear

The state must, by any means necessary, ensure that children’s education is protected by all in the ranks of power.


Editorial August 04, 2013
For the students who were forced to leave Dera Bugti during the 2006 operation, the state should have ensured that they were able to attend schools in the districts they had relocated to, so as not to put them at further disadvantages compared with their peers across the country. PHOTO: FILE.

In a discouraging story appearing in this newspaper on August 2, hinting at the plight of education in the country, some 20,000 children from Dera Bugti, who should be studying, are out of school. Many parents, after the 2006 military operation in the area, relocated to other cities and kept their children out of school for fear of the militant threat against education. Both, teachers and students from the area, who have now migrated to other parts of the country, are too afraid to step inside school walls again. This is a devastating state of affairs as hundreds of schoolchildren’s lives remain threatened by militants. Across all provinces, militants have attacked schools, teachers and students. The state, security forces and law enforcement agencies are urged to ensure the safety of our educators and pupils across the country.

Such efforts need to be countrywide and the will to revive schools and ensure their security needs to come from both provincial and federal levels. We must realise that any child not in school is a loss to Pakistan’s future and a waste of potential resource. In this loss, women are included for the militants have most strongly criticised women’s education. Nevertheless, the fight must go on and we must make a concerted effort to eliminate disparities between male and female education.

For the students who were forced to leave Dera Bugti during the 2006 operation, the state should have ensured that they were able to attend schools in the districts they had relocated to, so as not to put them at further disadvantages compared with their peers across the country. Unfortunately, they have already missed out on seven years of education. The state must now, by any means necessary, ensure that children’s education is protected and supported by all in the ranks of power. We must stand together with those families who are fearful of sending their children to school and demand that proper security is provided so that these children can secure better futures for themselves and one day contribute to society in meaningful ways.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2013.

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COMMENTS (1)

M. Emad | 8 years ago | Reply

Bengali students of 1971 occupied Bangladesh (East Pakistan) had gone through similar experiences. Schools-Colleges-Streets-areas were often raided and then youths (particularly students) were picked up and never seen again. Thousands completely disappeared and there is no grave ('missing' Balochi youths bodies are at least 'appeared' later). For life many bengali parents sent their young sons into India. For bengali womenfolk the situation was even worse.

Around 1970 election time (few months before March 1971) in most of the East Pakistan towns at the Bihari (Indian refugee; and also West Pakistani) youths formed well organized gangs (probably monitored from a center) and after 25 March army operation they acted like lords of East Pakistan. Later they form the cores of Rajakar and Al-Shams killing gangs with support of army.

Similar thing had replicated in Balochistan (irrespective of military or civilian govt.).

May Allah protect Balochi youths (students) from disappearence...

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