Afghan students go back to school at Jhelum

success story Access to quality education is the fundamental right of every human without any discrimination of cast, color, race and creed. Unfortunately, bias attitude by the society towards the afghan refugees has been witnessed many a times. SHARP-Pakistan team received information from District Jhelum that administration of Govt. Elementary school Thekrian was reluctant to promote/register Afghan students (more than 15 students in different grades) to next classes and asked them to leave the school treating them as alien. The humiliating behavior of the school administration towards the afghan students created unease among the students as well as their families as denying their right to education was meant to head them to a bleak future. SHARP-Pakistan team intervened and contacted the school administration. The administration responded that a higher authority at concerned department has ordered not to enroll/register or allow afghan students in the schools. SHARP-Pakistan team briefed the school administration that all Afghans are registered and Govt. of Pakistan has extended their legal stay till 31st Dec-17. The administration showed cold shoulder to team stating that they have orders from High authorities and they are bound to obey these orders. ALAC team struggled hard to approach the concerned Punjab School Education Department at Lahore and brought the issue to their notice. The department shared that the orders were for non-registered (without POR Card) Afghans only and the same was not applicable to registered Afghans. The department referred the team to contact Executive District Officer Education (EDO) District Jhelum, The team contacted EDO Jhelum and discussed the matter. He was kind enough and immediately forwarded the case to concerned District Monitoring Officer (DMO). The DMO shared that no such orders were received by the department and he ensured to look into the matter personally. The team coordinated with the Afghans and updated them about the issue. After meeting with DMO the representative of Afghans informed that issue has been resolved and School administration allowed all Afghan students to sit in their classes. With sincere efforts by SHARP-Pakistan, team afghan students went back to school and littered their lives with the light of education. It was all due to bias and discriminatory attitude of the local community towards the afghan students.

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