Renovated School in SITE Area

Neglected school to be reopened after renovation

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

THE city government has completed the renovation of a 43-year old school at a cost of Rs 15 million and this school will be inaugurated anew tomorrow (Thursday). It has been developed as a model academic institute for children from middle and low income groups in SITE Industrial Area in collaboration with the FPCCI and a private firm manufacturing heavy vehicles, Daily Times learnt on Tuesday.
The Government Girls Secondary School, adjacent to Habib Bank Chowrangi on Manghopir Road was established in 1965 and served as a role model educational institute in the neighborhood till 1985. “After the sparks of riots in Karachi during 1984-85, the government neglected this school and gradually it become a complete nuisance for the children and soon began to be used as a warehouse for nearby factories,” said Qaseem Ahmed, the head master of the evening shift.
Ahmed, who has been serving at the school for the last 35 years, remembers the “good days of the school, when every classroom was filled with over 100 children and students were taught as they sat on rugs for the lack of proper facilities.”
Due to the lethargic attitude of agencies concerned with the education sector, especially toward schools run by the government, enrollment fell drastically and two years ago, there were only 96 students in the school, he said.
“A large number of people from the surrounding areas, including North Nazimabad, Liaquatabad and various localities in SITE occupied by low and middle income groups, preferred this school for their children and it is an honor that current Sindh Labor Minister Amir Nawab, former Balochistan CM Akhtar Mengal and Abdullah Baloch, among others, were educated here,” he said.
In the last two years, the one-acre school lay ruined and most of the ground floor classrooms and the open spaces were filled with sewerage and rainwater throughout the year.
Four months ago, the Committee for Monitoring and Improvement of CDGK Schools (CMIS) adopted this school as a model school and with a funding of approximately Rs 15 million, the institute was renovated and can now be compared with any private school, said CMIS Chairperson Farhana Iqbal. She told Daily Times that they have changed the overall condition of this school to provide better education to the children of all income groups. Facilities for recreational and extracurricular activities, such as a gym for girls and sports facilities for boys, have also been set up.
“The science laboratory has been improved and provided with all the latest equipment, the computer laboratory with up to date computers and the library with hundreds of books targeted at young students,” Iqbal said.
The school currently has 400 students enrolled and Iqbal hoped that this number will go up to the school’s maximum capacity of 1,500.
City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and Hino Japan Managing Director Koichi Ojima will inaugurate the school tomorrow (Thursday).
SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAMME FROM OCTOBER: After almost two decades, health programmes for the children of government schools are being revived from October with financial assistance from the private sector. In the first phase, 20,000 students in four towns, Liaquatabad, Landhi, SITE and Jamshed, will be screened for various diseases.
During a visit to the first healthcare centre at the Government Girls Secondary School, Gulbai Campus, Liaquatabad, CMIS Programme Coordinator Tahir Hussain told Daily Times that this centre is a pilot project which will provide healthcare to the students and the community living around the school. Dr Rubina Rehan, a private doctor hired by the CMIS since three months, said that dozens of children from different classes are examined each day to find any diseases and are given medicine and advice.
Hussain said that they have decided to set up such healthcare centres in all city government pilot and model schools by hiring private doctors and providing medicines.
“In the phase from October, students will be examined by SINA, an NGO comprising senior doctors, and those at high risk will be referred to specialists. All costs will borne by the FPCCI,” he said. He went on to say that presently the city government has a total of 3,757 schools in which around 660,000 students are enrolled, but the one-year screening programme will only be carried out in four towns and 5,000 students in each town will be examined.
The programme will be continued with the support of the local or the provincial government or any other donor but it depends on phase one being completed in one year. It may also be mentioned that two decades ago, the government ran school health programmes for students in which over 450 doctors were deputed to provide vaccines and carried out checkups on a quarterly basis but the scheme was abandoned.
-Published in Daily Times | Aug 20, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on August 20, 2008.

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