With the monetary assistance from the federal government, six middle schools in the Bajaur agency are undergoing a collective upgrade with the investment of 42.5 million rupees. This is great news given the situation in Bajaur agency where militants have relentlessly attacked girl schools while teachers – both male and female – have no other choice but to give up their noble job and protect their own lives instead. Other changes to the middle schools include an increase in scientific education and an emphasis on increasing dedicated and competent faculty for girl schools as soon as possible.
Girl schools in Bajaur have perhaps suffered the most in the ongoing war between extremists and the military. In a zone so replete with chaos and precarity, the lives of these young girls become entangled in the crosshairs of militant megalomaniacs. Not a week passes by that we are given an umpteenth report of a miscreant attacking a girls’ school in the north-western parts of Pakistan. But it isn’t just the young girls these cowards prey on, but little boys who want the same chance at education.
The locals in Bajaur are like the locals anywhere else in Pakistan; they, too, wish to see their young ones – boys and girls on equal basis – gaining enrichment from education as it happens in other less tumultuous parts of the country. They, too, aspire to the same social values we claim to have.
Unfortunately, we have treated citizens in the tribal agencies as pariahs, and it reflects in the indignation they express at the federal government. This initiative to advance the conditions of girl schools in the tribal agencies is more than welcome; in fact, it is the desperate need of the hour and requires more investment and protection from the capital. We have lost far too many innocent ones to beat about the bush now.