Need to bring 1200 flood hit children back to schools: Report
Thousands of children in the flood-affected areas of Sindh are stranded at the internally displaced people (IDPs)’s camps or at temporarily shelters away from their education facilities in formal and non formal schools. There is hardly a chance to ensure that they are back to schools.
“Their education, safety, security and welfare seem at stake, as there is no hope for immediate restoration of schooling system,” said an Assessment Report released by children rights NGO The Roshni Helpline. The report calls for urgent measures to bring these children back to schools.
The Roshni assessment finds out that even almost all of children who were affected by the last year’s floods are still confined to the camps without proper education. However, a few NGOs have started non-formal education for children. Their services are not enough to accommodate majority of the children.
According to the Roshni Helpline’s assessment about 1200 children of different age groups, from five years to 18 years, at the Kemari IDPs Camp/Village have missed out proper schooling since the last year’s flooding. The Organization in collaboration with an Islamabad based NGO had been running a Child Friendly Space (CFS) at the Kemari camp for about an year, but since its closure there is no one to offer either formal or non-formal educational services to the IDP children.
“The current situation should be taken as a serious concern because the major focus, being on the relief and immediate rehabilitation activities of the flood victims, has compromised the security and safety of children,” said Muhammad Ali, President Roshni Helpline. “Since these children do not have any activity to keep them engaged, their vulnerability to security risks has been multiplied manifolds,” he added.
The Roshni assessment showed that those schools, which were not damaged by the floods water and are now being used as shelter have been completely devastated by the flood-affectees. “The furniture is being used as fuel wood and other infrastructure of these schools has been completely destructed by them. There is no chance that these schools could be re-used for education purpose without complete reconstruction,” Ali said.
He said it was high time for NGOs, and especially government and Sindh education department to save children facilities from destruction. He said the Roshni Helpline was continuously monitoring the situation and making interventions where it was needed and possible. “We are there all the time to work for the safety and welfare of the children, but given the circumstances it will be appropriate that the education department comes forward to lead the process,” Roshni President said. “Otherwise there is no chance to bring these children back to schools in the near future.”