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Provincial, city govts fail to provide staff to 76 upgraded schools

RAWALPINDI, Sept 25: The provincial and the city district governments have failed to provide staff and basic facilities to schools upgraded four years ago.

The government had upgraded 76 schools in 2003. Of these, 12 masjid maktabs were upgraded to primary schools, 38 primary schools to elementary level, 18 elementary schools to high school level and 10 high schools to higher secondary schools, said the sources.

According to sources, most of these schools were neither provided with new teachers nor other facilities. In some schools primary teachers were taking middle or high standard classes and in many upgraded higher schools even the classes could not be started.

Saghir Alam, a higher secondary school teacher while talking to us, said before upgradation of schools no feasibility study and PC-I were prepared regarding library, building and finances.

An official of the district government, on the condition of anonymity, said requisite criterion was observed while upgrading these schools. He said demand of staff for these schools was submitted to the provincial government with the concurrence of the Punjab education and finance department.

He said it was mentioned in the upgradation notification that the schools will start functioning with the available infrastructure and staff. The local nazims and the community will provide additional staff and facilities if required, he added.

He said it was also mentioned in the notification that all the field formations of the education department and Rawalpindi district would help facilitate implementation of these up-gradations. They would also monitor the functioning of these schools periodically and intimate the executive district officer (EDO) education office, he added.

District Education Officer (DEO) Secondary Malik Bashir Ahmed said the department had not received the Sanction Newly Establishment (SNE) for the Punjab education department. He said in some areas the politicians had taken up the matter with the provincial government and in those schools the situation was improving.

Ahmed said in Taxila the local politicians had expressed concern over the schools affairs and raised the matter with the Punjab education minister.

He said the union nazims of these area had initially taken the responsibility that they would bear all the expenses of staff and other facilities. The district government also did not apprehend these problems while upgrading the schools at that time, said Ahmed.

Gulzar Hussain Raja, DEO (Elementary) said this issue did not come under his jurisdiction. He said they could only inform the EDO (Education) about the schools status. "We have sent the feasibility report of the schools of our area to the EDO and so far have not received any response," he added.

EDO (Education) Chaudhry Muhammad Yousaf said they were unable to fill the vacant posts in those schools, which were upgraded in 1995 and 1999. He said the Punjab government wanted the district government to arrange the funding for these schools, while the district government said that they have no funds. Therefore, this issue has become problematic, said Yousaf.

"However, almost every month we send reminder to the provincial education department and they make us hopeful that soon the issue would be resolved, but nothing has happened in four years," said Yousaf.

Syed Akbar, Sagri naib nazim, said since the government had upgraded the Government Boys High School to Higher Secondary School. He said only the board of school's name was changed and classes of higher secondary could not be started due to non-availability of staff and financial resources.

Akbar said he along with the union nazim had met the EDO (Education) and the Punjab Law and Local Bodies Minister Raja Muhammad Basharat a number of times and took up the matter with them but to no avail. Every time they give us assurance that soon the teachers will be provided for the higher secondary classes, he added.

Chaudhry Mazhar, Kotha Kalan naib nazim, said they had overcome the teachers' shortage by recruiting some teachers and paying them salaries by collecting donations. Daily Times

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