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Contributing Writer
Gohar Mehsud

Education is a candle for any society, but unfortunately the majority of children of primary schools in FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] Pakistan don’t even have desks and chairs besides there basic facilities for the classrooms.

FATA, situated at the boundary of Pakistan and the war-torn country of Afghanistan, is 27,220 square kilometers and with a population of over three million, accordingly to the 1998 census done by the government of Pakistan.

Primary school student must sit on the stones or the ground. Many of them have no basic facilities; even some schools buildings have no roof.

Zafer Ali a resident of Tehsil Ladha, now living as an internally displaced person while describing his school age said that “I remember those days when I was studying in my Pather (Stone) Primary school in Sega, Ladah of South Waziristan agency, where we had no stools or chairs for setting but we were using stones or sat on ground for the classes.”

Zafar Ali considers those days good. According to him “in the past at least we were able to go to schools even though we had no facilities, but now due to the worst security situation most of the educational institutions are closed.”

Ali said the children are growing up without any kind of education, which is not good for the future of people, country and region.

In an exclusive with the president of TUJ [Tribal Union of Journalist, Pakistan] Safdar Hayyat Dawar, he blamed local and federal government of Pakistan saying that they are not serious to bring education into the area.

Dawar said, “the head of each FATA administrative unit, “Political Agent” distributing the buildings of schools into their favorite people and Maliks,[chief of the areas] while they are not caring about the education of the children”. He said, “These Malikes or owners of the school misuse the school funds and supplies, furniture, books etc.”

TUJ president Dawar said, “since the establishment of Pakistan the tribal areas have no single university, while the government is just misusing millions of money on the name of education.”

According to the recent BBC Urdu service report some 480 educational institutions have been destroyed during the last five years due to the militancy in the area.

Dawar said that due to uncertain situation thousands of children are living without education which is causing them to join militancy and what will be the future of these children’s he said.

He said that the tribal people are facing prejudice attitude. The influential or nontribal people are occupied on the scholarships, which the international communities are giving to the tribal people of Pakistan.

Since the last decade the tribal people are in war turn situation. As Pakistan army and US drones are fighting against the Militants in the area, while the local people are flee from their houses.

According to an educationist of South Waziristan Khan Zeb Burki before the war turn situation in the region the people were not received the basic right of education, even it was mentioned in the laws and constitutions but the Political Agent and some elders or Malik’s were misusing the funds on the name of education.

He said, even now some Malik are living in the school buildings with families and they are using these buildings as their houses and no one can ask them because they have the support of local corrupt administration.

The worst educational situation in the area shows bad picture of the students. Sometimes the students are asked to bring water on for the school water tank or said for bring wood from their houses for burning fire in the school for the staff use. There is not proper system of electricity or water supply in all the area.

Most of the students are using the pieces of wood for writing purposes instead of notebooks; they write something on it with the ink then after they wash it with water.

Gohar Mehsud is Islamabad bass tribal journalist, currently studying journalism in Pierce College Washington USA.

You can reach him at: proudy.mehsud@gmail.com for any comment.
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The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.
Building so much with so little