CJ Khkula

BARA: Located in the far-flung area, once known for terrorism and unrest, Qamberkhel village in Bara sub-division of Khyber tribal district, the Sabawoon School and College system is among those few educational institutes which is playing a vital role in not only educating the female students of the locality but also giving them awareness thus making them responsible citizens of this country.

Presenting his views about Sabawoon School and College system, the owner of the school Raheem Shah says: “This is my first project which will be extended to the rest of the province, specifically tribal belt, so that our future generations may get best education. It is my dream to provide our youth with quality education.”

Girls of the area, which once was under the menace of the FCR, could not even think of such an opportunity to get quality education at their doorsteps, but now circumstances have changed and peace has returned to the area.

Kalsoom Afridi, a student of 2nd year, said: “We are very happy to have such a prestigious institute in our village and are very much satisfied from our teachers. But main issue is that the female students are not given the permission to pursue higher education outside the village as we are not having a women university in our locality. Hence it’s my appeal to the government to look into the matter and resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Back then, education for females was considered a sin, but now school like Sabawoon is trying its best to change the mindset of the people. It is evident from the fact that at very inception its total strength was 250 which has now increased to 700 and still the figure is rising which shows satisfaction of the parents.

Unlike all other schools, there is no criterion for students’ enrolment as it believes that all the students must be given equal opportunity to learn.

Mehrab Afridi, father of Zakira and Fatima, who are students of third and seventh grade, said: “I am very satisfied from this school for it is providing best education with the help of highly competent and well qualified staff. The fee they charge is affordable. Besides the school provide religious education in the evening. Hence most of the parents of the locality prefer to enrol their children in this school.”

On our question about sending their children to governmental schools he said: “These days government schools don’t have quality education or at times there you won’t find staff at all.”

Spacious classrooms with all type of facilities including library, electricity and school transport are provided to make easy and relaxed environment for the students to get proper education. The glaring feature which makes it distinguished from the rest of the schools of the locality is its quality education.

When asked about fee structure and scholarships for deserving students, Raheem said, “We are providing quality education by charging minimal fee as imparting quality education is our priority. For this reason, I spend nearly 2 lacs monthly from my own pocket to meet the expenses. So, it shows my commitment and dedication in imparting quality education to our youth.”

Furthermore, he added that security issues are also there as some troublemakers, at times, do the propaganda of NGOs funding which in their thinking is ultimately used for destruction of our youth and tries their best to misguide the people. But we don’t take into consideration such threats and are fully committed to keep the project running.

It is the first school of the locality which ensures quality education in real terms and for this purpose highly qualified staff comprising of 25 female teachers is being hired from reputable universities of Peshawar and are given free pick and drop facility.

The school has a policy of regular tests and exams to help students learn their lessons. Besides co-curricular activities including games are carried out to provide students with healthy environment. Its role in improving the female literacy rate cannot be denied.

Recently it has been upgraded to college level which offers both arts and science academics. Students are thrilled for having such an opportunity of getting quality education at their door steps.

Kaima and Zaitoon Afridi, students from 2nd year, are of the opinion that government must allow internet facility in the locality as it would of great help in case schools once again closed due to corona outbreak.

People of the locality are hopeful that for them this school will prove to be a jewel amid their stones covered mountainous area which will bring awareness in the future generations and eventually will mark a history in the coming years.