QUETTA: As they stood up when their white-bearded maths professor entered a tent on Teacher’s Day on Wednesday, students in flood devastated Urak valley showed their respect not only for his role in their education, but in getting them back to class.
The sole Government Boys School in Hanna Urak, some 40 km from Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, was destroyed when the floods, caused by abnormal monsoon rains and glacial melt, have submerged huge swathes of the South Asian country since mid-June.
The southwestern province was one of the worst hit by the deadly floods, which destroyed homes and more than 3,000 schools, locking nearly 390,000 students out of the classroom.
In Urak, children could not return to their damaged school when floodwaters subsided. And as the building is no longer usable, many parents gave up on their education, asking them to help rebuild their ruined households instead.
As concerns are already rising of a lost generation of Pakistani children, who again are unable to reach the classroom after already missing out on schooling during the coronavirus pandemic, the maths teacher, Abdul Aleem, reached out to their parents to allow them to attend classes in tents.
“I believe education in bad circumstances is better than stopping the children from school,” he told Arab News.
“We have met the parents and students to convince them to education, and resumed the classes.”
As most of the parents have agreed and classes resumed last month, Aleem who has been teaching for the past four decades, said it kept his “hopes alive for the educational future of our country.”
Nadeem Shair Tareen, the school’s principal said he knows that it is hard now for the students and was doing his best to make sure they do not drop out.
The children know it and they appreciate the efforts.
“The teachers in this school are concerned about the students,” Sohail Khan, a Grade 10 student, one of the school's 400 pupils, told Arab News.
“Despite the lack of classrooms, we have been getting an education.”