A School In Mohmand Where Students Still Study By Sitting On The Ground

Due to the dilapidated state of the two-room school and the lack of essential facilities such as washrooms, drinking water and a boundary wall, the school has seen its enrollment rate drop over 20 years

A School In Mohmand Where Students Still Study By Sitting On The Ground

Nearly four scores of young boys and girls are forced to sit on the cold, hard ground under the open sky to get an education in a remote area of the Mohmand district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, near the border with Afghanistan. However, the lack of basic facilities at the school and its dilapidated condition is convincing parents to keep their children away rather than send them to the school.

The two-room Wali Dad Kaur Community Basic Education School in the Pandiali tehsil of Mohmand, a district of the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas, was built a little over 20 years ago. The only primary school is located just four kilometres from the main market of Pandiali Tehsil. Currently, 83 students are enrolled in the school. 

Abdul Basit, the head teacher at the school, said there is no educational establishment for girls or boys within two kilometres of their school.

"To meet the shortage, this school was established in 2003 with support from the National Education Foundation, in which 135 students were enrolled in the first year," he said, adding that the school is still running with some 50 boys and 33 girls enrolled who study upto the fifth grade.

Basit further said that the National Education Foundation had handed over the school's operation to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Education Foundation and continues to be managed by the Mohmand District Education Department and the FATA Education Foundation.

However, he said that the school has fallen into disrepair. At the same time, it lacks basic facilities with no provision for a washroom for the children, drinking water, and a boundary wall.

Of the two mud rooms of the school, the roof of one has caved in due to rain, while the other room does not even have a door. Consequently, students are forced to sit outside the two rooms in a clearing.

"If rooms and washrooms are built in the school, the number of children studying in the school will increase, and other children will also start coming to school," he said, urging the authorities to help build rooms and washrooms for the children at the school apart from ensuring the provision of water in the school for drinking and washing purposes.

Jalat Shah, a resident of Pandiali, confirmed Basit's fears, noting that parents do not send their children to the school due to the lack of facilities.

Other schools, which may have the facilities, are located far away; hence, the area's children are deprived of an education.