Girls Education in Swat
Women are considered the true architects of future. Their role has
become increasingly complex and demanding in a modern society. A
variety of competencies and skills are required to carry out
responsibilities of an enlightened mother and house- wife. Such
capabilities can only be ensured through meaningful education.
The learning opportunities initiatives in my native land were primarily taken by the
enlightened rulers of Swat State (1917-1969). Besides some cultural reluctance, it was made possible to set up first girls' formal school in
1940 and expanded the scope of facilities gradually. Wali Sahib
further strengthened over all education process on the basis of his
vision and broad mindedness. After state merger in 1969, the over all
system could not maintain in the same spirit and style due to rapid
population growth, frequent migration from the remote surrounding
districts, politicized education set up and some management
in-competencies. No conscious efforts were made to convince culturally
reluctant parents to send their daughters to schools.
Presently, we see that learning opportunities provided for girls are
inadequate and even 80% less than boys. There are 80 and 23 high and
higher secondary schools for boys and girls respectively. Same is the
case of primary and middle schools.
Ignorance always brings miseries. Women were an easy target of
extremist forces to gain their sympathies at the early stage of
existing crisis. Huge financial support by illiterate mothers and
sisters is evident from reports appeared in the local press. At later
stage, infrastructure received serious damages due to bomb blasts in
girls' schools. Psychological damages to female students and their
teachers cannot be neglected at this stage as a sense of insecurity
prevails in the area. Parents will now think twice before sending
their daughters to schools.
It is now the duty of all those responsible for promotion of girls
education, including civil society, to face the challenges and threats
efficiently and determine the roles of all concerned to put girls
education on the right track in the affected valley.