PESHAWAR, May 4: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elementary and secondary education department is intensely trying to persuade local and foreign donors to help it rebuild educational institutions destroyed by the 2010 flashfloods in the province, it is learnt.

According to a recent E&SE department survey, the 2010 flashfloods had destroyed 152 schools in the province, mostly in Kohistan, Swat and Charsadda, while the land of 75 of them was also eroded away.

Sources told Dawn that the department was on contact with many foreign donors for supply of money for the reconstruction of these schools.

They said the department was struggling to woo people to donate land for the schools, whose land had been eroded away.

According to them, since such schools were located on the riverside, land for new buildings is to be acquired away from rivers to prevent its erosion by floods in future.

“We’ll now construct schools on new and safe sites away from rivers,” said an official in the know.

Sources said the department needed 150 kanals of land for reconstruction of 75 schools as every school would be spread over two kanal of land.

They said since these schools were located in hilly areas, price of their land was comparatively very high.

“The minimum estimated cost of 150 kanals of land is Rs500 million. I don’t believe that the militancy-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province can allocate such a huge amount for
purchase of land. In this light, the only option left with the department is to look for people, who could donate their land,” a relevant official said.

He, however, said people were reluctant to donate land for the purpose as they felt the act would give them no benefit.

According to the official, usually, people donate land hoping to get class-IV jobs in the respective schools.

However, since schools are to be relocated in this case, donors of the land on which they previously stood upon will continue to work there as Class IV officials, so no one is willing
to offer their land for the purpose.

“There are a few chances that people will donate land for such schools,” he said.

The official said the department had tasked the respective executive district officers (education) with persuading wealthy locals for land donation.

He said Swiss Development Organisation recently began reconstruction of four schools, while the rest operated either in tents or in rented buildings.

The official said the 2010 floods partially damaged around 1,500 schools and 500 of them had been repaired with the help of parent-teacher council and government funding.

When contacted, E&SE secretary Mushtaq Jadoon told Dawn that the department needed around Rs2 billion for reconstruction of schools destroyed by the 2010 flashfloods.

He said USAID had agreed to provide funds for the rebuilding of damaged schools, while land would be bought if people didn’t donate it for the purpose.


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