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Thursday, July 24, 2014  

Militants blew up 839 NW schools in 3 years
ISLAMABAD The militants have blown up 839 schools in Pakistan’s north-western regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Federal Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata) from 2009 to 2012 with 81 schools destroyed in 2012 alone, a study said.

The Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC) annual report shows that the militants have blown up 81 schools last year with 52 schools destroyed in KP and 29 in Fata.

In KP, the most effected district was Swabi where 13 schools were destroyed which means that one school was destroyed in every month of the year. Charsadda comes after Swabi where militants destroyed 10 schools.

The militants destroyed eight and five schools in Nowshera and Mardan districts respectively. Four schools were destroyed in Kohat, four in Laki Marwat, two in Dera Ismail Khan, two in Hangu, and one in Swat and one in Tank district.

Out of the 29 destroyed schools in Fata, Mohmand Agency was the most effected agency where militants destroyed 16 schools over the same period while nine schools were blown up by the militants in Khyber Agency. One school each was destroyed in Bajour Agency, North Waziristan Agency and in South Waziristan Agency. The CMC report says that the militancy acted as a bomb shell for education sector.

The findings expose the miserable state of educational sector in Pakistan, where the Pakistani Taliban shot 15 years old Malala Yousifzai, the educational activist, in October to silence her  campaign for the right to an education. A recent UN report shows that nearly three quarters of young Pakistani girls are not enrolled in schools, 55 per cent of all Pakistani adults are illiterate, and the illiteracy rate in females is about 75 per cent.

Data shows that the militants had destroyed over 758 schools in different districts of the KP province, including 640 schools in Malakand Division from 2009 to 2011. Among these schools, 166 were destroyed and 477 were damaged in the areas in the wake of military operation. Before the military operation, militants had also occupied schools and turned the buildings into hideouts. In addition to that, 40 schools in Peshawar, Hangu, Bannu, Laki Marwat, Nowshera, Kohat and other areas of the province KP were destroyed by the militants and 83 were damaged. Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2012 states that Pakistan have a total of 5.1 million children out of school, making it the nation with second highest out-of-school children in the world.

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