Reconstruction of the flood-destroyed schools

Rs5 billion needed for rebuilding schools
Swabi, Aug 21: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Education Sardar Hussain Babak has said that reconstruction of the flood-destroyed educational institutions and infrastructure needs about Rs5 billion and urged foreign countries and donor agencies to help in this regard.

Talking to reporters here on Friday, he said the scale and magnitude of flood was very colossal and it was really an uphill task to meet the needs of the students in the post-flood situation.

The minister said that hundreds of public and private sector schools were wiped out and damaged by the floods. “The total number of destroyed educational institutions might be about 900. It is not easy mission to make all these institutions functional immediately,” he said.

He said collection of a complete data of the destroyed educational institutions was underway and in the next few days everything would be cleared. “However, we have to admit frankly that the rebuilding of these institutions would take time and each one has to come forward to play their due role after the natural disaster,” he said.

Mohammad Ashfaq adds from Peshawar: Recent flash floods damaged around 820 schools and six colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , officials said.

Data compiled by the Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) department says 204 schools have been damaged extensively, and 616 partially. Officials said that the schools the province lost to the floods were constructed during the past three years.

Under the annual development programme, the provincial government constructs around 150-200 primary schools and upgrades the same number of primary schools to middle and higher level.

“Six colleges also were partially damaged. Repair and reconstruction of them would cost about Rs60 million,” Higher Education Department (HED) additional director Liaquat Shah said.

Besides the damage to the college buildings, Shah said that a bulk of books in libraries and classrooms’ furniture was also destroyed in these floods. He said that they were making efforts to complete the repair and open the damaged colleges from September 1 after the summer vacations.

According to the official data, the 820 damaged schools included 573 for boys and 247 for girls: 681 primary, 76 middle, 49 high and 14 higher secondary schools.

Bashir Hussain Shah, the E&SE additional director for planning and development said that the department had not yet made assessment of the destruction and total cost needed for the reconstruction of the damaged schools.

In Dera Ismail Khan, the number of fully and partially damaged schools is 311, followed by Nowshera with 134 schools. Kohistan is the worse-hit district where 107 schools were completely washed away by floods. The damage schools in Swat are 69, Shangla 36, Battagram 21, Charsadda 31, Swabi 29, Malakand 17, Dir Upper 19, Buner eight and Haripur 37.

“It is premature to say something about the total cost needed for the reconstruction of these damaged schools,” an official of the E&SE department told this correspondent. The engineers and other government officials concerned would visit the flood-hit schools and colleges for damage assessment, he added.

Schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will reopen on September 1 after the end of three-month summer vacations. The official admitted that it was beyond the capacity of the impoverished KP government to reconstruct such a large number of damaged schools without the active support of donor agencies. However, the department planned to start classes in prefabricated structures, he said, adding that the second option would be the establishment of tented schools. Dawn

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