Nasar Zada

DIR: The federal government has decided to close down 20 community schools in Upper and Lower Dir districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The federal government under an agreement with Khwendo Kor, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), had established 20 community schools for the girls students of remote areas of Upper and Lower Dir in 2002. At least 2,700 girls were enrolled in these community schools. However, the government has now decided to close down these schools due to which the future of the students in these schools has become uncertain and their parents are also very concerned.

According to TNN correspondent, over 2,00 female teachers were employed in these community schools. These teachers will lose their jobs after closure of the schools.

Khwendo Kor Regional Manager Ibrash Pasha said the agreement of the NGO with the government has expired and the government is not willing to extend the project. Therefore, he said, there is no other option but to close the community schools.

The people of Ali Gasar village of Upper Dir have expressed concern over the decision of the government not to extend the project. They said there is no middle school for girls in the area and the community school is the only source of education in the entire area.

Mukhtiar Khan, a social activist, said while talking to TNN that there is no female middle school in the area. He said the girls of the area will be deprived of education if the community school was closed. He called upon the government to review its decision and keep the community schools open to save the future of the area girls.

The management of Khwendo Kor said the students from community schools were also provided with scholarships for their higher education. The regional manager said the local lawmakers have been contacted with a request to hand over the community schools to the Elementary Education Foundation so that the girls studying in these schools can continue their education.

Most of the locals are of the view that the girls students will abandon education if the community schools were closed as there are no alternative facilities for them.

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