Category: Pakistan


Taliban Provokes New Hunger For Education

Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan. “There is a steady increase in enrolment of students because parents have realised the significance of education, and now they want to thwart the Taliban’s efforts to deprive students of education,” Pervez Khan, education officer in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), stated. In 2012, he says, the literacy rate for girls was 3% in FATA. That rose to 10.5% in 2013. The boys literacy rate shot up correspondingly to 36.6% compared to a previous 29.5%.


Girls Enrolled In Catholic School Hit By Taliban

The Catholic girls’ school of the Sisters of the Presentation in Sangota, in the heart of the Swat valley (province of Khyber–Pakhtunkhwa), “reopened a few months ago. It has more than 200 enrollees and is in the process of complete reconstruction” said Sister Riffat Sadiq, part of the team of educators, formerly headmistress of the same school. The institute, founded in 1962, was forced to close in 2007 and, in 2009, was destroyed by the Taliban, who then ruled the valley. In the campaign against female education, Taliban groups forced the closure of more than 400 schools and 150 were destroyed or affected by the bombings. In the Spring of 2012, the school of the Sisters of the Presentation – whose specific charisma is to work for education – has reopened. In a few months, enrollment has risen up to 200 “but as soon as more classrooms are completed, there will be a lot more,” notes Sister Riffat, remembering that before the forced closure, the school had over 1,000 girl students.

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