Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No more Schools in Mohmand Agency

The News.com
There is now no remaining high school in the Safi subdivision of Mohmand Agency. On February 21, the militants blew up the last two that remained intact. As a result, some 20,000 pupils now have no means to learn. It means that they have less opportunity to better their prospects in life or escape the hold of militants. Reports from various parts of the tribal areas tell us how young men with no way to occupy their time are recruited by the Taliban. It is not entirely far-fetched to believe that this could be one purpose behind their onslaught on schools.

So far, according to media reports, some 30 schools have been destroyed in Mohmand Agency. These include 12 schools for girls. Primary, secondary and institutions of higher learning have all been targeted. The pattern of attack suggests a uniform strategy and a single line of action. Indeed, despite the fierce operation against militants we hear regularly of continuing bombardment aimed at destroying schools. The Taliban thus continue their bid to push us all back into the age of darkness and deprive the people even of what limited access they have to basic amenities. We have seen this process continue for too long. The burnt, blackened ruins of schools stand in many places across the tribal areas. The time has come to ask how this destruction can be stopped. Perhaps communities, who seek education for their children, can be involved in the effort. But what is essential is that schools be protected so that even the limited chance to learn available to the children of these areas is not snatched away from them