By Sohaib Iqbal
Scores of Govt. Primary Schools in Bhakkar had been established almost 55 years ago. However, five of these schools don’t have any building yet. The buildings of these schools have been arranged for rent. The irony is that the rent for these buildings along with electricity bills are being paid by the teachers of the schools.
Despite the fact that more than half century has passed but still there are five such schools that don’t have any building. These schools are also deprived of basic necessities.
These schools are located in Darya Khan, a tehsil of Bhakkar district. PP 48 that is the previous constituency of chief minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif. Monthly rent for these schools ranges from Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 whereas the utility bills are separate. More than 750 students are enrolled and being educated here.
These schools include Govt. Primary School, Darya Khan City; Govt. Primary School Basti Chak; Govt. Primary School, Shumali; Govt. Primary School, Mohalla Khan, Khuda Bakhsh and Govt. Primary School Sheikhanwala.
Speaking to PakVoices these students said, “There is lack of facilities in our schools, due to which we’ve to study on the cold floor even in the winter as well.” Parents of these students also raised their concerns. They talked about their worry regarding the deteriorating condition of these schools.
In 1963, buildings for these schools were taken on rent but there was no planning for the payments of the rent. Teachers are now paying the rent and electricity bills from their salaries. Few of these schools don’t have the electricity available yet.
Monitoring officers of the education department also failed to make arrangements for electricity, tanks for drinking water and furniture.
Due to non-availability of proper buildings, students have to sit outside in open. The situation gets even worse in case of rain or storm. On the other hand, the chief executive officer, education, Bhakkar is pushing to get these schools closed permanently.
Students of these neglected schools, located in CM Punjab’s previous constituency demand that they should be provided with the basic necessities so that they could quench their thirst for education inside a proper school building.
PakVoices contacted the Deputy District Education, Surayya Masood about the issue of the primary schools. She told, “We’re facing the shortage of funds,” adding, “We’ll very soon shift the schools into government buildings after funds are available to us.”
Sohaib Iqbal is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Southern Punjab.
Photos by the author