Taxila-Defying tall claims of ‘Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab’ the provincial government has failed to up-grade a primary school of Nikku village, situated in tehsil Taxila, to elementary level in the past five years, an official said on Tuesday.

The school and village have geographical significance because its boundary connects three districts including Rawalpindi, Attock and Haripur.

However, for the population of approximately 60000 in nearby villages of three districts, there is no elementary school in the area. As a result, residents of the villages have had to discontinue their daughters’ education because they cannot afford to send them to the nearby city of Hasanabdal.

The local community has been running from pillar to post since the last five years to up-grade the school.

The community offered more land to government and to bear the expenses of construction of additional rooms, but the school up-gradation file has been likely shelved, said the official. 

“The school established in 1901 has covered no distance till 2018 and has not been up-graded despite the increase in area’s population to thousands,” said Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Vice Chairman (VC) Committee of Common Interest (CCI) of the village.

He said the primary school has the required strength of students to be upgraded to elementary level, while girls of nearly six adjacent villages’ primary schools at a distance of one kilometre can also be accommodated in the school.

The villages include Bafhat, Sabaz Peer, Gonga Pind, Barval, Mohri and Peer Madniala. They all have government primary schools for girls but none have been given the status of elementary by government.

“All schools have maximum student strength and are functional but only till the primary level, after which the girls have no option but to sit at home,” said Nawaz Khan.

The documents available with The Nation confirm the up-gradation recommendation by the District Education department.

“It is strongly recommended that this school is up-graded because there is no girl’s school in the surrounding areas within a radius of 5 kilometres”.

The required area for the elementary school is 60marlas for Boys and 40marlas for girls and the school has 8kanal 04marla land available for up-gradation.

President CCI Shahid Ali Awan informed that the local transport cost for each month is Rs1000 which is heavy on the pocket. He added that the Nikku village school is at a walking distance from all adjacent villages and the community will not hesitate to send their girls to the school on foot.

“The community is prepared to construct extra rooms for girls with only a nod from the government,” said Shahid.

He said the next academic session is going to start from the month of March adding that if the education department delays the up-gradation of school once again, dozens of girls will be deprived of education this year too.

Chief Executive of Education Department Rawalpindi Dr. Tariq Mehmodd Qazi talking to The Nation said a number of schemes regarding up-gradation of schools in the district are underway.

He said the schemes are delayed sometimes due to issuance of grant however if the local community is willing to contribute in this regard the issue will be resolved very early.

A Member National Assembly (MNA) of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Aasiya Naz Tanoli said the government is working to improve the standards of rural education and all efforts will be made for the up-gradation of school.