Students, teachers suffer three-week-long closure of educational institutions as policemen brought in capital for PTI, PAT dharnas have lodged in about 19 schools, colleges
Three weeks after the scheduled reopening date of government schools in the federal capital, around 19 schools and colleges are still out of bounds for students and teachers due to police’s presence in these institutions.
Heavy influx of police force to Islamabad from different parts of the country especially from Punjab to deal with the twin marches of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) forced the Islamabad administration to make extraordinary logistic and lodging arrangements for the police officials. One of these measures was to lodge the police force in public schools and colleges in different sectors of Islamabad when the schools were still closed for summer vacations.
After three extensions in institutions’ reopening date, all the schools of the capital were supposed to re-open on September 3, however, it could not be made possible.
Islamabad Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) released the list of 19 schools being used by police.
FDE mentioned that in the mentioned schools around 31,635 students are enrolled and they are not able to attend their schools. Therefore, it is possible that they might lose their current year of education.
According to list, students enrolled in different schools are listed as 5,380 students in ICG F-6/2, 826 in IMCB F-10/4, 1,626 in IMCB H-9, 2,662 in IMCG F-7/2, 2,347 in F-7/4, 717 in IMCG F-10/3, 1,332 in IMCB F-10/3, 2,739 in IMCB F-7/3, 2,700 in IMCB F-10/4, 3,508 in IMCB G-10/4, 426 in IMCG G-6/2, 1,307 in G-6/4, 1,016 in G-6/2, 728 in G-9/2, 856 in G-9/4, 1,917 in F-10/3, 1,285 in IMCB I-10/1, 783 in I-10/2 and 480 students in G-5 PMS colony.
After much criticism from parents and teachers, the administration vacated many schools but 19 schools and colleges including highly acclaimed IslamabadCollege for Girls (ICG) situated in F-6/2 are still a no-go area for students.
ICG Principal Prof Rehana Rashid expressed her concern for the loss of precious time of students due to non-availability of the campus for studies.
“As teachers, we do not get involved into any kind of politics and our foremost duty is to teach our students according to academic calendar but for the time being we are not able to do this which is causing worry among teachers, students and parents alike,” she told Pakistan Today.
“We are not an ordinary school, there are around 5,500 students enrolled in our school and they are all deprived of studies due to continued closure but we as teachers are helpless. We can only request to the people concerned to help us get going with the studies,” Prof Rehana further said.
Parents of the students have been found furious outside the gates of closed schools as they are facing discontinuity in the studies of their children. A number of parents staged protests in front of school gates against the administration for failing to start studies in their schools even after three weeks of official reopening date.
Zaheer Uddin, who runs a property business in G-9, told this scribe that non opening of schools have made his two sons, enrolled in IMCB G-9/4, “idle and depressed”.
“My sons completed their homework for summer vacations in time and also enjoyed enough outings during the vacations but non opening of their school has left them idle as they have nothing to do,” Zaheer said.
When Pakistan Today interviewed a number of boys playing in the ground next to IslamabadModelSchool for Boys in F-10/4, they were all eager to go back to their schools.
“I have become sick of playing all the day, I want to go to school now and I miss my teachers too,” 13-year-old Yasir said.
“My parents are so worried about my studies and they often get crossed with me for nothing just because I have nothing to do except playing. Is this my fault?” Osama, another student, said.
In contrast to most of the boys interviewed, 14-year-old Ali Khalid expressed his happiness over closing of schools and he praised PTI Chairman Imran Khan for his sit in.
“I am a best player of cricket and my passion never tires me of playing cricket. I do not mind if my school does not open for another month or so,” Ali said.