Students and Teachers re-enter Govt school occupied by land mafia

Students jumped in joy and punched the air in triumph and excitement as they along with teachers and parents entered the Government Muniba Memorial GBPS and Lower Secondary School in Block 6 in Federal B Area on Tuesday, 11 days after they had been banished from it by a group of land grabbers.muniba-january-30-2013

The school had been handed over to the land grabbers by Additional District Officer Gulberg Ali Akbar Shaikh on the basis of a notification issued by former education secretary Alam Din Bullo two years back, and the new occupants had locked the school after removing furniture from it.

Day after day, the students had been sitting on mats spread over the footpath outside their school, but no official bothered to pay any heed to their protest against the illegal occupation of their school and the removal of furniture from the classrooms.

On Tuesday, they along with their teachers and parents were attended classes on the footpath. A number of people, including Pakistan People’s Party leader Sohail Abidi, Khwaja Tariq of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Anees-ur-Rahman, Prof Iftikhar Azmi of the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association, Gul Hameed Mansoori of the Government Schools Teachers Association and representatives of civil society, visited the protesters and appreciated them for raising their voice for their cause.

Upon learning of the protest, Rangers and Gulberg police personnel reached the school and spoke to the teachers and parents. Sub-Inspector Rustam clarified that the police had not locked the school in collusion with the land mafia and that it had been sealed on the directives of the ADO Gulberg.

At hearing this, students broke open the lock and entered the school building. But they were shocked to see that the building did not have a single chair or desk on its premises, while a portion of the building had also been demolished. This caused many students to burst into tears.

“The occupants had ripped out the windows of the classrooms, demolished a portion and removed all the furniture, which is shocking to see,” a student said.

Worried parents and students complained that the school remained closed for 11 days when the annual exams were due after a month, but the authorities were least concerned about their problem. However, teachers said they were ready to continue teaching on mats. They asked the students to come to school regularly and continue their studies.

The representatives of teachers associations and politicians appealed to MQM chief Altaf Hussain to help protect the Muniba Memorial School and other government buildings from the land mafia and play his role in ensuring that poor students continued getting their education. They assured the teachers, parents and students of their help in fighting the land mafia.

Taleem Bachao Action Committee convener Anees-ur-Rahman and politicians vowed that they would stand by the students and teachers even if the land grabbers belonged to any political party.

Anees-ur-Rahman wondered who restored the ADO and DO Gulberg after their removal and the cancellation of the notification by Education Secretary Afzal Pecheho. He demanded an inquiry into the incident.

Source: Online

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