Bangash inaugurates solar schools project in Kohat

Sahibzada Afridi

KOHAT: Advisor to chief minister for elementary and secondary education department Ziaullah Bangash and Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) regional manager engineer Abdullah Al Shoaibi inaugurated solar schools project at a primary school in Kohi Bazeedkhel area of Kohat district on Monday.

DEO Mr Nazir Ahmad Khan, ADEO (P&D) Mr Hashim Khan and education authorities from Kohat, Hangu, Karak, Bannu, Tank and DI Khan, local bodies’ representatives, members of parent teacher council and area elders attended the inaugural event. After unveiling the inaugural plaque and cutting ribbon Mr Bangash along with Mr Al Shoaibi and other officials inspected the newly installed solar power system in the school.

The first solar power system has been installed in the school with support of UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to ensure provision of free and uninterrupted electricity. Over 1250 primary and middle schools in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be provided with free and renewable electricity facility under Solar Schools Project which is being implemented by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in partnership with elementary and secondary education department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Speaking on the occasion, E&SED additional director Fareed Khattak termed the initiative a step towards achieving the goal of shining Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by promoting education. He said that the partner organizations would continue their support to equipping public sector schools with basic facilities. He said that installation of solar power system would help make the environment at schools conducive and learning friendly for students. UNOPS Hub Director Mr Charles Callanan highlighted the importance of project, saying that this the first step by UNOPS and its partners to provide free and reliable source of electricity to schools in southern KP.

“Not only education is a fundamental human right but quality education received in conducive environment is key component of sustainable development”, he maintained. Mr Charles said that kids were the future generations and improving educational facilities for them should be ensured. Emphasizing the importance of education SFD regional manager Mr Al-Shoaibi said that The Saudi Fund for Development had financed 70 education projects in 15 countries for a total of more than 2b USD.

“Education comes at the centre of SFD’s focus since it is the driver of development”, he added, saying that education reduces poverty, boosts economic growth and increases income. He also said that education increase the person’s chances of having a healthy life, reduces maternal deaths and combats diseases. Ziaullah Bangash said on the occasion that the provision of sustainable energy would motivate parents to get their children enrolled in schools for a better future. He said that such ideas would prove helpful to achieve the objectives of improving learning environment at schools. He made clear that no hindrance in implementation of the project would be tolerated, saying that the community ownership of the project will be promoted by ensuring maintenance and upkeep of the system by trained members of parent teacher councils.