Govt Girls Secondary School deprived of electricity for four years

KARACHI:November 4:‘Pani do, pani do [give us water]’ was one of many slogans being chanted by students of Government Girls Secondary School in Gulshan-e-Hadeed. Parents and teachers held placards aloft and staged a two-hour-long sit-in.

During the protest, the students threatened to go on a hunger strike in front of the Karachi Press Club if their problems were not resolved soon. “It is better to die than faint in this heat,” declared a female student. The school compound was filled with uniformed students clutching placards demanding the provision of water and electricity in their hands.

“This is our forth protest. The electricity has been disconnected for the last four years and there is no water, gas or even furniture in the school which has an enrollment of 600 students,” lamented a teacher, adding that government schools owe only Rs500,000 to K-Electric but despite the passage of four years the power issue has yet to be resolved.

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According to teachers at the school, there were previously four government schools that the provincial education department merged into one under its consolidation plan.

“We are suffering from lots of problems and can’t sit in classrooms in this scorching weather,” lamented Rabia, a student leading the protests. She said students of classes nine and 10 have no access to the laboratory. “We are facing these problems in a city like Karachi, not a village,” said the student.

Factory worker Sagheer Ahmed has two daughters enrolled at the school. He chose to attend the protest rather than go to work on Friday. “This constituency falls in the domain of Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Sajjid Jokhio who lives near the school,” he told the media. “We have held meetings with him but no results have come of the meetings,” he lamented.

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A secondary school teacher who also lives in the area said, “It has been 10 years since an elected representative has visited the school”.

Due to the absence of furniture, some teachers have collected money to purchase a few chairs and tables so that education can continue at the school but most students are taught while sitting on the ground. Despite many attempts, Jokhio could not be contacted for his version, nor could the minister or secretary of the education department. The minister’s spokesperson, however, said he would alert the minister about the issue and the government would look into it.

The chief minister recently directed the education department to provide facilities to 4,000 schools in the province. He allocated Rs6 billion for the project.Express News.