Dir upper - The residents of Achar Bala made a fervent appeal to the provincial government on Friday to attentively address their grievances and resolve the critical issue of teacher shortages at the local High School.
Prominent community members including Malak Gul Mohammad, Malak Noor Mohammad, Qari Jan Mohammad, Sadarat Khan, and others conveyed their village’s challenges to the media. Achar Bala, an enchanting mountainous hamlet with a population exceeding seven thousand, grappled with a deficiency of fundamental facilities. Notably, the absence of a girls’ school in the vicinity compounded with a scarcity of teachers in boys’ schools, particularly in science subjects at the high school level.
The village elders underscored the insufficient infrastructure of the schools, emphasizing the absence of boundary walls and even entrance gates, leaving numerous students vulnerable to security risks. They pointed out that despite allocations for repairs and boundary wall construction, minimal progress had been made in this regard.
Expressing their dissatisfaction, they lamented the deplorable state of the school’s principal office, likening it to a storage room with neglected old furniture and books. Furthermore, they brought attention to the school’s fifteen sanctioned teaching positions, of which eight remained unfilled, including crucial roles like the Principal, SST Biology, SST Chemistry, Physical Education Teachers (PET), Qari, and SCT.
“These unfilled positions are severely impacting students’ education, resulting in only a few classes being held each day, and several periods being missed,” stated Malak Gul Mohammad.
In addition to the educational challenges, the villagers of Achar faced infrastructure- related difficulties. The 13-kilometre road, self-constructed in 1991, was susceptible to damage during the rainy season. Despite local efforts to maintain the road for 4x4 vehicles, heavy rainfall caused flooding, exacerbating the problems.
While villagers contributed funds annually for road maintenance, neither the district administration nor any other department took responsibility for its upkeep. Malak Noor Mohammad voiced his frustration, highlighting how politicians made promises during election campaigns but tended to neglect the village’s needs post-elections.
Given these pressing concerns, the residents implore the government, particularly the Upper Dir education department, to promptly address the teacher shortage in the high school and acknowledge their genuine demands.
Responding to the issue, Deputy District Education Officer (DDEO) for Upper Dir, Mohammad Iqbal, acknowledged the remote location of the school in the mountains and the poor condition of the road leading to the area. He committed to visiting the school within the next two or three days to conduct a comprehensive inspection. Addressing the principal vacancy, he pointed out that many schools faced this issue due to the appointment process falling under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education. He assured that the Edu Dept would strive to overcome the challenges currently faced by the students.