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4,700 schools to be rehabiliated in federal capital

RAWALPINDI, April 30(Dawn): The federal government is to launch a project to rehabilitate and improve the condition of over 4,700 schools, including 81 in the federal capital, which have been found below the required standard by a survey conducted by the Pakistan Army.

These schools situated across the country lack basic facilities including computer and science laboratories, electricity, additional classrooms, drinking water, toilets, shelter and boundary walls.

Under the plan submitted to the Planning Commission for approval by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) early next week, on an average basis, Rs1.4 million would be spent on each school to remove the deficiencies over a period of five years. The project will be implemented through the military operation directorate in collaboration with provincial and district governments under the Education Sector Reform (ESR) programme of the president.

The project costing Rs24,871 million is stated to be in line with the objectives of the social sector to address various issues. The government has already spent over Rs5 billion on the ESR programme during 2001-06, according to the working paper.

The working paper submitted to the Planning Commission states that there is an allocation of Rs1,050 million in the current Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The amount of Rs2,156.74 million demanded for financial year 2006-07 would not be utilised appropriately as only two months of the current financial year has been left.

The report says 4,702 schools in 19 districts are lacking facilities. After the survey, 985 schools have been selected in 13 districts where all the missing facilities like shelter, boundary walls, additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water, electricity, computer and science laboratories would be provided.

Only 21 per cent of the schools selected would be rehabilitated under the proposed programme, while the rest would be considered in the next phase.

In the 19 districts, there were 18,716 schools, out of which 4,702 were selected and the ratio of selection came to 21 per cent.

In Islamabad, 81 schools out of a total of 405 were surveyed and all selected, which means all the schools in the federal capital lacked facilities.

In Punjab, the districts of Bhakkar, Rajanpur, Kasur, Rawalpindi, Narowal and Bahawalnagar were selected with a total of 8,186 schools. Out of that 2,747 were surveyed but none was selected.

In the Jaccobabad and Tharparkar districts of Sindh, all the 343 schools surveyed out of 5,227 were selected.

In the districts of Swabi and Dera Ismail Khan, 760 schools out of 2,464 were surveyed while only 282 were selected.

In Balochistan, the districts of Dera Bugti and Musa Khel were covered, and out of 553 schools, 386 were surveyed and only 121 selected.

In Bajaur and Kurram agencies of Fata, which have 1,017 schools, 200 were surveyed while only 48 were selected.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 145 schools were surveyed in Mirpur and Sudhnoti out of 570 institutions, while 70 were selected.

There were 294 schools in Gilgit and Skardu in the Northern Areas, out of which 40 were surveyed and selected.
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