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Ignorance and incompetence of PoK administration causes major education crisis

Ishtiyaq Ahmed, Central Press Club in PoK (Photo: ANI)

The status of educational infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has declined in the past few years. The issue has now become a serious problem for both parents and students.

Ishtiyaq Ahmed, a member of the Central Press Club in PoK, while bringing the issue to the limelight stated, “The educational infrastructure in PoK is in a serious condition. Despite having a budget of about PKR 25 billion for education, the standards of education in the area are deteriorating rapidly”.

Ahmed said, “Several teachers and professors in government schools and colleges are given high salaries. But, when it comes to results none of their apprentices secure significant ranks in the board exams ever. Such ignorance and incompetence have forced parents to send their children to private schools. However, these private schools are being run purely to skim profits from all stakeholders in the process.”

He added, “In the private school nexus, they charge high fees from parents, they don’t pay their teachers well, they don’t have facilities for practicals or sports and regardless of all of that they keep their fees sky high. Further because of the poor condition of the state-run schools more than seven lakh students of the PoK area are forced to study in these private schools. The condition of government schools is so worse that even senior officials of the education depart restrain from sending their kids to government schools.”

He also spoke about the unavailability of teachers in several government schools of PoK. He said, “Several of their teachers are unqualified and several of these state schools don’t even have adequate school buildings. The students there are forced to study either in tents or in open. Moreover, the curriculum being run in these schools needs a drastic upgrade. This sort of curriculum merely produces clerks and worker classes but doesn’t produce scientists and other bright minds, making us slaves of the powerful.”

Highlighting another issue persistent in the education sector of PoK, Ishtiyaq Ahmed said, “More than 40 percent of the schools, that were damaged in the 2008 floods have not been repaired or reconstructed in the region. Improper planning and the absence of finances have halted the construction work.”

“Some buildings could have been used after small repairs, but nothing of this sort could be done because the land mafia here has damaged, several of these schools while retrieving construction waste for their profits. And not these destroyed buildings stand as a testament of that disaster, obstructing the education of the students of PoK,” he added.