Pakistan: Closure of girls' schools in the Northwest Frontier Province
The schools according to the PC1 of the scheme were opened keeping the criteria of the 1 KM from the government schools. Two female teachers were appointed each for school with the total of 408 female teachers on monthly salary of 2500/-. About fourteen thousand girls were admitted in these schools. The school places were provided to by the local community free of cost.
According to the PC1 of the scheme, this scheme was started for 36 months (3 years) and this was committed by the PC1 that these schools will be regularized (shifted to current side) after 1st July 2005. As per PC1 of the schools will be evaluated after three years and provided building, for which community will provide 2 Kenal land free of cost. The extensions were provided for the period beyond July 2005. The salaries of the teachers were paid up to December 2006, and after that in some districts these female teachers were terminated due to the reason of shortage of funds.
The teachers and community has made several contacts and sent applications to the high-up of the education department including Akram Khan Durrani Chief Minister NWFP, Molana Fazal Ali Haqani the Minister for Education NWFP. Up till now no response is given to them. The teachers are performing their duties with out paying a single penny to them. In district Dir upper 22 teachers of these schools were terminated on 29th May, 2007 vide notice no. 11304-25/F-76/EDO, mentioning the reason of non provision of budget with effect from 1/1/07.
It is learnt that provincial government has informed the district education offices to close these schools due to the shortage of funds. On the other hand the provincial government claims for the spreading of education to every one in the province. Several public sector projects both at federal and provincial level are claiming for the universalization of the primary education (UPE) and achievements of the Education for All (EFA) goals. The parents of the girls studying in one of the community school at Paloso Daag Dir lower has condemned the closure of these schools and has demanded that government should construct building and continue the existing schools as committed in PC1. Mr. Naushad Khan, General Councilor Khazana demanded for the increase of salary from Rs. 2500 as the government minimum salary wage Rs. 4600. They further informed that government has not provided free books to these government community primary schools. They demanded for books, and furniture for these schools.
Source: WLUML networkers
‘Militants targeting civilians’
The government has ignored pleas for help from civilians living in the tribal area along the Afghan border, who are being targeted by militants, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan claimed on Sunday.
The government was turning a blind eye as militants in the troubled region bombed girls schools, threatened teachers and attacked shops selling videos and music deemed un-Islamic, the HRCP said. The commission based its analysis on a two-day review of the situation in the NWFP and semi-autonomous tribal districts.
“The NWFP presents a disturbing picture of religious militancy that is increasingly manifesting itself in vigilante actions against the population and creating widespread fear,” commission chairperson Asma Jahangir told reporters. “The government has continuously refused to heed complaints and warnings from both the public and civil society organisations and has adopted a policy of appeasement of militants,” she said. “The government has chosen to look the other way when the militants have blown up girls schools and video shops, threatened teachers, students, doctors, nurses, NGO workers and barbers.”
Pakistan has been fighting extremists along the border where the US alleges Al Qaeda and Taliban extremists have regrouped after 9/11. But militants in the conservative region are striving to impose a strict brand of Islam, the commission said.
“A situation of civil strife” exists in both the tribal areas and the surrounding districts of Tank, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, Ms Jahangir said.
In Swat valley, the education department had asked girls to wear burqas to school after threats from militants. The only Christian missionary school in the area had shut down after receiving threats, she said.
The HRCP chief said the security forces, after coming under consistent attack, had started abandoning their posts, leaving people at the mercy of militants. She said she doubted that free and fair general elections, due in the country early next year, could be held in the regions.
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