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Mohmand girls quit education

Hundreds of girls in Shaheed Banda area of Mohmand Agency have to quit education after passing primary school examinations as there are no middle and high schools in the area.

Shaheed Banda is a far-flung and backward area in tehsil Pandiali, which also lacks other basic facilities including health.

Mustafa Khan, a local social worker, said the only primary school for boys in the area was constructed in 1980 while a primary school for girls was built in 2007. However, there are no middle and high schools in the area due to which most of the students have no chance to get higher education.

“The nearest high and middle schools to Shaheed Banda area are at a distance of about 10 kilometres in Matta Mughal Khel area of district Charsadda, which has compelled many students to quit education halfway”, he added.

In the only primary school for girls in the area, there are only three teachers for over 250 students, he revealed. Although the school building is in a better condition, but there is no furniture even for teachers, the social worker said.

He said school teachers are compelled to teach students while sitting on beds and there are only two rooms which are not sufficient to fulfil the needs of such a big enrolment. “The doors and windows of the school are in worse conditions which were tied with plastic and one day a door fell down on a student due to which she received injuries, a fourth class student said.

President Shaheed Banda Welfare and Youth Organisation (SWYO) Gul Zada said over a hundred girls quit education annually after passing primary school because of the unavailability of an opportunity for higher schooling in the area.

“I wanted to become a teacher and teach the students of the area but my dreams could not be realised as I had no opportunity to educate myself further, said Laiba, who quit education after passing 5th grade exams. I passed 5th class in 2015 and wanted to take admission in the 6th class, but had to say goodbye to education as there was no middle or high school in the area, she added.

The girls’ primary school in the area is lacking basic facilities as well. The school has a water tank, which remained empty for the last so many years, local residents said. Most of the students have to carry drinking water in bottles from their houses. The washrooms in the schools have never been used as well due to unavailability of water, a teacher said. There is no play ground in the school for the students where children could play.

A 3rd grade student Tayyeba said books were not provided to them in time due to which students’ precious times was wasted. They also demanded that additional rooms should be built in the school so that all the students are accommodated in the rooms during rainy days. Students also said there were only two black boards in the school.

Headmistress of the school, Robeena Gul, said there was more enrolment in the school as compared to those in others area, therefore the government should build a middle school in the area, she demanded.

Reporter. Mohmand girls quit education. The Nation, February 6, 2017.

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