PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtun-khwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and European Union Ambassador Jean -Francois Cautain, inaugurated pre-fabricated school building at Government High School Hisara in Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency on Wednesday.
Enrolling 448 boys, the school was built under “Support to Returnees and Their Communities in Fata” project. The delegates also visited Government Girls Primary School Kalanga, which has an enrollment of 538 students.
The project is focused on improved access to education, peace and social cohesion and improved livelihood in the returned areas of Fata. Under the project, pre-fab structure will be established in 53 schools. Moreover, major/minor repair work will be done in 280 schools and tents will be installed in 60 schools. Project is also focused on the capacity building of teachers and Talimi Islahi Jirgas in 450 schools.
Speaking on the occasion, the governor appreciated the efforts of the European Union and the implementing partners in revival of education in the post-conflict era.
He mentioned that education is the sole mean to fight against the poverty and to improve the socio-economic conditions. The governor assured that the government would leave no stone unturned in improving the quality of education in tribal region.
Speaking at the ceremony, European Union’s Ambassador Jean -Francois Cautain said, “The project will help to improve the education quality in the return areas and will contribute towards peace and stability in the region.”
He added that the European Union has formulated plans that would be focused on the vocational training and education in Fata area. Jean -Francois Cautain appreciated the efforts of the partners and support of Government of Pakistan in the successful implementation of the project activities.
Chief Executive Officer Sarhad Rural Support Programme Masoodul Mulk also spoke at the ceremony. He mentioned that the project would benefit more than 45,000 children in the returned areas by rehabilitation work and establishment of transitional learning arrangements in 450 schools.
The Chief Executive Officer acknowledged the unique nature of partnership and mentioned the efforts for synchronising the energies. He mentioned that project is also fostering linkages among the government and Talimi Islahi Jirgas for long-term development and improvement of education in the target areas.
Christian Munduate, Deputy Country Representative from UNICEF, presented her gratitude for the successful implementation of the activities. She stated that UNICEF is leveraging more resources and designing the projects for Fata that will be focused to bring every child to school. Christian Munduate emphasized on the role of Talimi Islahi Jirgas and local communities for the promotion of education. She also committed provision of furniture for GHS Hisara.
Ignacio Artaza, Country Director UNDP, addressed the event and ensured that UNDP would keep on striving for the improvement of the livelihood conditions of communities in the returned areas of Fata. He praised the resilience of the communities for coping up the disaster situation.
During the event, feedback of the local community was also recorded. Masta Jan, a 27-year-old physically challenged person who received training in tailoring under the project said, “I am working with a tailor and generate my livelihood. My legs are too weak to support my body, but my hands are now equipped with a skill that feed my family with dignity.”
Haji Gul, Chairperson of Talimi Islahi Jirga quoted “with platform of Talimi Islahi Jirga, we have been able to address the safer space for schooling. We will mobilize the resources at local level and will address the school problems”.
Another community member Shah Wali said, “I have spent my entire life cleaning grass off the fields. I don’t want my son to suffer the same existence.”