Swabi schools witness 31 per cent increase in students’ enrolment rate after UNHCR’s intervention
SWABI, 19 February 2019: Government schools in district Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have seen 31 per cent increase in their students enrolment rate after UNHCR’s intervention.
The project, funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and launched by UNHCR and the provincial government was aimed at strengthening the existing infrastructure, expanding the capacity of three government schools and creating safer learning environment.
These schools were without adequate facilities. UNHCR through the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme constructed and rehabilitated 28 classrooms, 20 latrines and provided furniture sets for students and teachers for all the 28 classrooms.
The newly-constructed and rehabilitated Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School Topi, Government Primary School Gala and Government Primary School Gandaf were handed over to the provincial Education Department at an inauguration ceremony held in Swabi on Tuesday.
Speaker National Assembly Mr. Asad Qaiser was the chief guest on the occasion. The event was attended by German Ambassador, Mr. Martin Kobler, UNHCR Country Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, Provincial Additional Education Secretary, Abdul Basit, Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Abbas Khan, head of UNHCR office in Peshawar, Dinesh Shrestha and officials from different departments.
Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Menikdiwela extended gratitude to the German government for extending generous support to RAHA programme. She lauded the provincial government’s efforts to provide refugee children with access to education through inclusion into Government schools, alongside their Pakistani peers.
She said education is the basic right of every child and UNHCR, under the RAHA programme, has been trying to further improve the quality of education in different districts. “Providing such support is one way of showing solidarity with these communities that have generously hosted refugees for many years,” she said.
Asad Qaiser, Speaker of the National Assembly appreciated UNHCR and the Government of Germany for supporting the government in its development initiatives in different sectors. These initiatives have indeed greatly improved the learning environment in the schools which will yield positive results.
“Happy to support the Refugees Affected & Hosting Area Programme (RAHA) of UNHCR with 10 million Euro. This fosters a peaceful co-existence between the Afghan refugees and the local population in KP. What better way than to construct a school – a place where children, the future of Pakistan, come together to get education – a first step towards a better chance in life,” said Mr. Martin Kobler, German Ambassador to Pakistan.
Since its start in 2009, some 4,200 RAHA projects have been implemented across Pakistan in the sectors of health, education, infrastructure, livelihoods, water and sanitation. These projects benefited 12.4 million individual including 85 per cent Pakistanis and 15 per cent Afghan refugees.