BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: The impression that people in Diamer valley of Gilgit - Baltistan are against education was proved wrong by a college students on Monday after they locked classroom to protest absence of science teacher.
“We were forced to take this extreme step,” said a student in government degree college at Chilas, main town of Diamer which is one of the 10 districts in G-B.
In Diamer about one percent women and hardly 15 percent men are educated and the locals are often blamed for the dismal literacy rate.
“We don’t have biology teacher for the past over three months but nobody cares about it.”
A resident Muhammad Qasim said: “This is how our children are deprived of education and then we are blamed for keeping our children uneducated.”
The strike was led by students of grade 11 and 12 and was joined by others who locked classroom to keep the teachers at bay.
The students blamed Janbaz Khan, a minister and an influential political figure of the valley, for transferring the biology teacher out of the valley because he wasn’t a supporter of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz [PML-N], the ruling party in G-B who Khan also belong to.
“Sir Bilal was our teacher but Janbaz Khan forced him to leave the place for political reasons,” said the students.
Khan, who is minister food and agriculture, couldn’t be contracted immediately for comments as his cell phone went unanswered.
However local administration intervened later in the day to open classrooms for students appearing in examinations being held under Karakoram International University and Allama Iqbal Open University.
The principal of the college Malik Ashraf said concerns of the students were communicated to the director education and other concerned officials.
“We have conveyed the concerns of the students through letters to the officials concerned,” Ashraf told The Express Tribune
The principal said makeshift arrangement was in place for the students but they refused. “A lecturer Kamal Noor was taking Biology classes but I don’t know why they didn’t accept him.”
Diamer has been ranked 95 out of 148 districts in terms of education and 127 for infrastructure and facilities by a survey of Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings2015.