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Female students in Upper Dir face bleak future

UPPER DIR, Sept 17: Militants destroyed three girls’ schools in the district during the last three months, depriving hundreds of girls of their right to get education.

Militants affiliating themselves with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan set on fire the Government High School in Wari and the Government Middle School in Bibiyawar in June this year. The third school, Government High School in Ganori, was bombed a few days ago.

Upper Dir already lacks girls’ educational institutes and destruction of the three schools would further affect girls’ education in the district.

Thousands of girls are already deprived of education in the Upper Dir district. Literacy rate in the area is 21 per cent, with that of girls only 6.1 per cent.

There are 223 girls’ primary schools, 23 middle, four high schools and a newly -constructed degree college, which is yet to start classes, in the district.

After the destruction of the two high schools, only two high schools have to meet to meet the educational requirement of the people of the district, which has a population of 700,000.

The people of the district have been demanding rebuilding of the destroyed schools and establishment of new educational institutes for girls, but the government has not so far initiated any effort in this regard.

The residents have also called upon the government to take concrete steps to protect the remaining institutes in the district.

Ironically, after every incident of destruction of a school, the education department only issues a warning letter to watchmen and police register an FIR against unidentified people, but no concrete measures are taken to protect schools.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/18/2008

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