PESHAWAR, Oct 21 (APP): Pakistan has always helped, accommodated and treated Afghan refugees like its own citizen and provided them all the basic facilities in limited resources and challenging situation.
The top priority was paid to health and education of Afghan children at refugee camps to protect them from the adverse effects of displacement and to make them useful citizen to serve their country and nation.
The government of Pakistan has established as many as 99 schools from KG to Grade six in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for Afghan refugees’ children in five districts including Peshawar, Kohat, Mardan, Hari Pur and Lower Dir where 33,117 children including girls and boys are currently enrolled.
According to an official of Afghan Commissionerate there are a total 27 girls schools including seven in Peshawar, three in Kohat, five in Mardan, seven in Haripur and five in Lower Dir. Similarly the government has set up 43 boys and 29 co-education schools in these districts.
He said that till September this year 12020 girls and 21097 boys were enrolled at these schools, adding that in August this year the accumulative strength of girls and boys children was 31508.
He said that the government has also hired services of Afghan nationals along with Pakistani teachers at the schools to provide opportunities to Afghans.
He said that out of a total 99 head teachers 52 are Afghan males and 11 females heads and only 18 Pakistani male head teachers were appointed.
Similarly, out of a total 516 teachers 155 males and 107 females are Pakistani while 35 females and 219 males are Afghan national.
Regarding dropout of school children, he said that 160 left the schools due to repatriation to their motherland, 127 shifted to other places and 105 remained absent for a long time, however efforts were being made to enroll more children of refugees to the schools.
Shahid Anwer a school teacher at Afghan refugee camp here told APP that he has been teaching at the refugee school from last 29 years adding that all basic facilities including books, washrooms, play grounds, solar electricity and clean drinking water were available at these institutions.
He said the schools are being run in morning and evening shifts wherein boys come in morning and girls in afternoon, adding that hundreds of Afghan students have completed their education from this school and now serving as engineer, doctors, lawyers and at other important posts.
He said earlier Afghan curriculum was taught at the schools but now Pakistani curriculum endorsed by UNHCR is being taught to the students.
An Afghan refugee Wasiullah talking to APP expressed gratitude to Pakistan government and the nation for extending full support to the refugees and entertaining them like a family.
He said the refugees received warm welcome and hospitality until date and never ever felt insecure or migrant in Pakistan. He said their children were getting education in Pakistan and all other facilities.