HARIPUR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Elementary and Secondary Education Department, on Friday, said that it had closed down 150 schools in the district during the last three years owing to the low enrollment of students.
The students and staff of the schools which were closed have been shifted to nearby institutes, the department said.
According to the new education policy of KP government, all institutions having less than 50 students have to be closed down.
Under the new policy, 150 schools for male and female students were shut down in the period between 2015 to 2017, including three middle schools for boys, 141 primary schools, and nine schools for girls.
People belonging to the areas where most of the schools have been closed cannot enroll their children into educational institutions because of a variety of reasons.
Some of them cannot afford the fares of public transport to send their children to schools, and others claim that the terrain of the hilly areas makes it difficult for their children to reach the school.
Union Council Beatgali’s General Member Qari Noor Hussain said that after closure of the primary female school in his village, 15 to 20 students out of a total of 27 had dropped out.
“It is because their school was merged with the one in Lall Khanpur Kaneer Banda, which was 1.5 kilometers away, and owing to the difficult terrain , the parents did not allow the children to travel the distance,” he said.
Hussain further said that real victims of the KP education policy are the people of hilly areas, where there are fewer roads or vehicles, and parents are reluctant to let their children walk to school under the prevailing security situation of the country.
Haripur’s District Education Officer (DEO), Omer Khan Kundi, said that the provincial government has shut down 100 primary schools which were initially established as ‘One room, One teacher’ and later converted to primary schools, but had failed to enroll the required the number of students to justify their expansion.