Dozens of government schools have been functioning in Peshawar’s dilapidated buildings endangering the lives of thousands of students, it is learnt. Several such schools have already been closed down over the communication and works department’s warning, according to the sources in the elementary and secondary education department. The sources said such school buildings, mostly built in 1950s and 1960s, had lived longer than their natural life, while some put up 10 to 15 years ago had developed cracks due to use of substandard material. According to the sources, 80 per cent of the Government High School, Budhni’s building is in dilapidated condition. Also, there are many schools, whose almost 50 per cent buildings need demolition. Noted among them are Government High School for Girls, Gulbahar; Government Higher Secondary School for Boys, Gulbahar; Government Higher Secondary School for Boys, Chamkani; Government High School, Urmar Payan; Government High School, Zaryab Colony; Government High School, Tehkal; Government High School, Sufaid Dheri; Government High School, Maryamzai; Government High School, Telaband; Government High School, Hazarkhwani, and Government High School, Gulshan Rehman Colony.
Also, a large number of middle and primary schools for boys and girls in the provincial capital have long been functioning in very old and dilapidated buildings. According to the sources, steel bars are visible in the roofs of classrooms of Government High School for Girls, Gulbahar showing the poor condition of the building. They said a block of the building of Government High School, Gulshan Rehman Colony on Kohat Road consisting of four rooms had been abandoned since 2005 for being in dilapidated condition. The sources said the block was vacated soon after the 2005 devastating earthquake but the government had yet to reconstruct it. Currently, Government High School, Gulshan Rehman Colony is functioning in five rooms, which have 100 to 120 students each. There have been no enrolments in the school for many years due to unavailability of classrooms. The sources said a tender for the four classrooms’ reconstruction was floated in July 2008 but work on the building had yet to get underway. Former ANP MPA Alamgir Khan Khalil had also promised to get the block rebuilt from his development funds. However, the promise remained unfulfilled due to the end of the ANP government. The sources said the building of Government High Secondary School No 2, Peshawar city had archeological importance as it was more than 100 years old but the relevant department had yet to repair big cracks, which had appeared in it. When contacted, District Education Officer (Male), Peshawar Sharif Gul said he recently asked the communication and works department for technical advice about the condition of the GHSS No 2 Peshawar City and GHS Gulbahar but the response was awaited. “Several reminders have been issued to the communication and works department as schools have decrepit buildings and could prove harmful for students, but to no avail,” he said