Mohmand Agency -  The residents have expressed concern over prolonged closure of militancy-hit schools in Mohmand Agency. They said that government has failed to reopen the schools destroyed during 8-year unrest in the agency.

Militants in 2008 started blowing up schools in Mohmand Agency; nearly 127 schools had been destroyed continuously for three years under the influence of the extremists.

The government’s move came in 2011 to restore its writ and after four months of military operation, government announced that the writ has been restored, but schools and hospital were kept closed. After two more years eventually the government decided to reopen schools at the end of 2013, but even after restoring law and order in tehsil Safi, tehsil Baizai, tehsil Khauzai, educational activities are dormant in most of these tehsils.

Considering the same situation, FATA Secretariat introduced the rationalization policy through which nearly 100 schools were closed. Moreover alternative FATA Education Foundation (FaEF) Government of Pakistan decided to start community schools in areas where children do not have a school.

FATA Secretariat enrolment campaign was started under the education emergency announced by the Governor KPK. However, at that time teachers had expressed concern over inadequate steps taken to improve the literacy rate in FATA, thus virtually enrolment campaign was a failure.

Agency Education Officer Saeed Gul told The Nation that 127 schools were destroyed in the Mohmand Agency and now 49 schools have been rebuilt. Under the rationalization policy most schools were closed in Safi. “We are trying to ensure teachers’ attendance. Explanatory statement has been sought by many teachers,” he said. On the other hand parents of several students also criticized the government for not providing scholarships to the position-holder students in government schools.  Local elders said that 127 out of 592 schools in Mohmand Agency were destroyed during the insurgency period and less than half of the construction has been made.

They said around 94 schools were closed due to the rationalization policy of FATA secretariat.

The elders have demanded both provincial and federal government to reconstruct and officially reopen the damaged schools in Mohmand agency.