Islamabad: People in a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province have stopped sending their daughters to a school after it was merged with a boys’ institute, saying co-education was against Islamic teachings, a media report said Monday.
Parents in Kaccha village in Hassanabdal held a “jirga” (meeting) and announced that they would not send their daughters to the school until the education department withdrew its decision, the Dawn reported.
The report said it was the only girls’ school in the area, and the authorities merged it with the boys’ school to establish a “model institution”, under the Punjab Government Primary School Education Consolidation (PSEC) programme.
They threatened that they would block the Rawalpindi-Peshawar Grand Trunk Road if the authorities failed to resolve the issue within a week.
An official told the daily that in rural areas people enrolled their children at quite a late age and as per their traditions and culture they did not allow them to sit with boys either in the family or in a classroom.
Three primary schools in Hassanabdal are, meanwhile, on the verge of closure due to unavailability of teachers.
Akram Zia, deputy district officer (education), said that under the PSEC programme, 16 boys’ and girls’ schools in Hassanabdal were being merged to overcome shortage of teachers.