Over 700 schools without clean water, furniture

9:17 PM

RAWALPINDI: Due to scarcity of funds, the Rawalpindi education department has shelved two schemes under which furniture and clean drinking water were to be provided in around 700 schools of the district.

A source at the Executive District Office (EDO) said the department had to shelve two projects - to ensure availability of clean drinking water in 205 schools and provision of furniture in 560 schools.
He said in the current fiscal year, the Punjab government had released sufficient non-salary budget to ensure that all missing facilities in schools were made available.
However following the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, a major chunk of the budget had to be diverted to make necessary security arrangements at educational institutions.
“Now, we are left with no money for these two important schemes,” the source said. He said majority of these schools were located in areas like Murree, Kotli Sattian and Kahuta.
When contacted, Director Planning, Education Department, Saleem Raza confirmed that these two schemes had been shelved. “We have spent available funds on security arrangements, and currently we have no funds to undertake these projects,” he said.
To a query, Mr Raza said it was a wrong notion that all children of the said schools were forced to sit on rugs and did not have potable drinking water facility.
“I do not agree that there is 100 per cent shortage of facilities at these schools,” he said.
The director planning, however, said the department was in touch with the provincial government with regard to allocation of funds in the next fiscal budget.
He said the Rawalpindi education department had spent over Rs40 million on raising boundary walls of educational institutions and purchasing security equipment.
Published in Dawn March 9th , 2015

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