1. I wish to share my opinion on an issue which has never came
to the limelight at any forum, may it be the leadership,
educationists, social worker or NGO etc. Chitral is far-flung
area of KP. Although, primary schools are established almost in
every village/town; but the Middle and High Schools are not. On
average one Middle School is dependent on 5-6 Primary schools to
fetch the students, similarly a High school is dependent on 2-3
Middle schools to maintain requisite numbers of students.
Ironically, the Middle/High Schools, at places are unreasonably
far away for the student to attend. At places students have to
travel for 4 to 6 hours on daily basis over the rugged terrain,
with a turn round distance of approximately 20-25 kilometers.
This results into:-
a. Those who financially afford to educate their children in
private schools or requisition their living in town areas do not
prefer their children to undergo this physical stress. Therefore
strength of students in govt schools gradually reduces instead
b. Students who are not well off discontinue schooling at
Middle/High level in the face of these difficulties.
c. Those who have the urge to gain further education but can,t
change their location for education purpose whatsoever the
reason may be, do continue in the face of these inevitable
inconvenience. These students do exhaust their time and energy
in covering long distances for schooling. They have less time to
study and rest to remain healthy, hence can not perform well
because of daily marathon between school and home.
2. Here, I take the situation in one valley
as an example, although the problem is similar to most part of
a. Sunich is 12 Km away from Shoghore. A student of class 6th
has to travel 24 km on daily basis over the rugged terrain to
attend the school.
b. Parsan is 11 km from Susum. Here a student has to cover a
distance 22 Km daily to get education.
c. Hinjil is 9 km away from Shoghore, a student has to travel
about 18 km on foot.
3. Obviously, a standard strength of students in
a class is required for up gradation of a school but if this
tendency continue we will never be able to achieve requisite
number of students because of depleting strength of students in
the govt schools. The ultimate sufferers are the poor students
who are dependent on these schools. Therefore, to facilitate the
poor and ensure extending education to all segments of society
in letter spirit, there is a dire need to up grade more number
of schools depending upon the remoteness of the area and
distances involved. This is possible if existing policies
governing up gradation of schools is relaxed for Chitral.
4. In my humble opinion addressing these problem
confronting the future of our new generation and poor people of
the society is the need of time; I request our MNA and MPA to
highlight the issue at appropriate level. We may take FATA as a
reference, where expand of area is the dominating factor and get
preference over the number of students for up gradation/setting
up the schools. It is also highlighted that Chitral was PATA
till late seventies due its inaccessible and peculiar nature of
terrain, but our peace loving nature made Chitral a settle
district of KPP without any unrest.
--Muhammad Uzair Ul Islam,
Rawalpindi, 04 Aug 10.
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