Umar afridi runs a cottage school in Khyber Agency

CJ Akbar Ali

JAMRUD: In the remote Warmando Mela area of Jamrud sub-division of Khyber Agency, Umar Ayub Afridi, a local young man, has established a small community school in a hut which is running successfully for the last two years.

Umar Afridi, who is running the school from his own pocket, says about 200 students from Warmando Mela, Walo Mela, Shangir, Shwara and other nearby areas come to his school to get education.

Umar Afridi said while talking to TNN that the area having a population of about 15,000 has no government school for girls. He said the well off people send their children to private schools in Jamrud, Tedi Bazaar and Sur Qamar. However, he said, the poor people cannot afford to send their children to private schools, while the girls education is neglected altogether.

“My basic aim of opening this school in May 2016 was to provide at least primary education to the local girls,” he told TNN.

“When I opened the school, the response was overwhelming and now I also have some boys at my school along with girls students,” he said.

Cottage school in Khyber Agency Delivers free education to girls
Screen Grab of Community School from Citizen journalist Akbar Ali video report.

Umar Afridi said he is disappointed over not receiving any help from the political administration, education department and elected representatives despite several applications. He said he is running his school in a small hut due to very limited resources where there is no proper shelter, washroom, mates or drinking water facility.

“I spend from my own pocket for buying boards, chalks, pens and other necessary items. The education department is paying no attention to the needs of students in this school. The agency education officer gave me some books after several applications, but that were quite insufficient for students and we need more books,” he said.

Irshad Afridi, a local resident, appreciated the efforts of Umar Afridi for providing education to the neglected children of his area. He said Umar Afridi is single-handedly working for providing education to the children of his area, which is worth appreciation. He said there are a lot of children in the area who are deprived of education, and Umar Afridi cannot provide education to all of them alone without getting any help. He demanded the concerned authorities to take steps to save the future of the area children.

Umar Afridi demanded the political administration, education department and elected representatives to provide him funds to establish a concrete structure for his school as in the current circumstances the students don’t come to school in the event of rain or extreme hot weather.