An overcrowded school in a scenic valley

Muhammad Adnan

Manglawar is beautiful valley surrounded by lush green mountains and a clear lake. The valley is densely-populated where Government Primary School, Manglawar, caters to a majority of its inhabitants. The school consists of 13 rooms where 1,782 students are studying. A student named Mazhar Khan told me: “We are 168 students in third grade. Our class is over-populated and it is very difficult for us to move inside and outside the class.”

Arshad Ali, also a student of the same class, said he tries to reach school early in the morning to get a seat in the first row in class as it gets difficult for him to hear the teacher’s voice in the last row. Another student Saad Ullah said that in the summer it gets difficult to stay inside the class. Tariq Khan, one of the teachers here, told me told that the teachers were trying to reach to every student but it gets difficult to manage more than a hundred students in the same class. He added that the student learning outcomes get affected with such big number of students in one class.

Muhammad Amin, a village councillor, said that they have been to the education department multiple times but no one listens to them. He added that he wanted to enroll the out of school children but this was impossible since the classrooms were already overpopulated.

Abdu Rahman Khan, a local farmer, said that his son works with him in the fields, and he is not sending him to school because there is no place to sit. There is no electricity and there are only three toilets for more than 1,000 students.

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