FAISALABAD: Immediately after reaching the school, students of the Government Primary School for Boys, Kot Farid Mahmood Kathia, Shorkot, have to fix the lever of a hand pump. Similarly, they have to remove the lever after end of the school time to save the sole source of water from small-time thieves. They have been doing this for months.
The school is a classic example of the public educational institutes with missing facilities as it has no boundary wall, toilets, potable water and electricity and comprises only one room.
The students have to clean the unpaved courtyard of the school for classes and set the table for their teachers daily. It also exposes the government education policy regarding public sector schools and sham official campaigns like Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab.
Talking to Dawn, Asif, a student of the school, says the school has 40 students who come from Kot Farid Kathia and an adjacent village. He says they have to clean the courtyard for their study as the school has only one room which is not sufficient for all the students. The school is shut whenever it rains, he says.
However, the summer is painful for the students and they have to find shelter under the shadow of the nearby trees. He said with the movement of the sun, students have to move along the shadow of the trees to avoid the sunshine, Asif says.
The demands of the village elders for improvement in the condition of the school have been ignored by the authorities.
Sadiq Ali, a resident of Kot Farid, complains the government officials have been requested to improve the situation of the school a number of times but in vain. He says a majority of the villagers can’t afford expensive education of private schools and they send their children to the government school.
“We don’t know why government is not providing sufficient funds for our village school as children lack even basic facilities here, including classrooms, water and toilets, ” Ali says.
Najeebullah, another native of Kot Farid Kathia, says the government is running programmes like Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab, where people are being urged to send children to schools whose condition it’s not improving. The school of our village is enough to gauge the kind of treatment being extended to students of remote areas, he adds.
Najeebullah urges Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif must evolve a strategy to monitor the situation of every school of the province, adding that the government officials are focusing urban areas only for the CM’s campaign and the rural areas are being neglected.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2015
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