PESHAWAR: The Pakistan government has established 99 schools from KG to Grade-6 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Afghan refugee children in five districts including Peshawar, Kohat, Mardan, Haripur and Lower Dir, where 33,117 children are currently enrolled.
An official of Afghan Commissionerate was quoted as saying by the state-run media that there are 27 girls schools including seven in Peshawar, three in Kohat, five in Mardan, seven in Haripur and five in Lower Dir. Similarly the government has set up 43 boys and 29 co-education schools in these districts. Till September this year, 12,020 girls and 21,097 boys were enrolled at these schools. In August this year, the accumulative strength of girls and boys students was 31,508.
The government has also hired services of Afghan nationals along with Pakistani teachers at the schools to provide education opportunities to Afghans. Out of a total 99 head teachers, 52 are Afghan males and 11 females heads, and only 18 Pakistani male head teachers were appointed. Similarly, out of a total 516 teachers, 155 males and 107 females are Pakistani, while 35 females and 219 males are Afghan nationals.
As many as 160 students left the schools due to repatriation to their motherland, 127 shifted to other places, and 105 remained absent for a long time.
Schools are being run in morning and evening shifts wherein boys come in morning and girls in afternoon. Thousands of Afghan students have completed their education from these schools. Earlier Afghan curriculum was taught at the schools, but now Pakistani curriculum endorsed by the UNHCR is being taught to the students.
Students say the refugees received warm welcome and hospitality and never ever felt insecure or migrant in Pakistan. They said Pakistan has always helped, accommodated and treated Afghan refugees like its own citizen and provided them all the basic facilities.
The top priority was paid to health and education of Afghan children at refugee camps to protect them from the adverse effects of displacement and to make them useful citizen to serve their country and nation. All students are given free of cost education at these schools without any discrimination.