School sponsored by Foreign Office opens in AJK
16 September 2007
The Daily Times
Islamabad: A school sponsored by the Foreign Office staff in quake-hit areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has started imparting education to children of the area. Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan inaugurated the high school for girls situated in Chinari, AJK. Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) Deputy Chairman Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed and senior officials of the AJK government also attended the ceremony. The school, first of its kind, has been constructed by donations of the officers and staff members of the Foreign Office and Pakistans diplomatic missions abroad. On the occasion, the foreign secretary highlighted the importance of education to improve the living standards of people. Khan said the newly built school symbolised the contribution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to improve the living conditions of those who suffered from the worst natural disaster on October 8, 2005. He said with the completion of the school, the children of Chinari would be able to pursue their studies in a conducive learning environment. The foreign secretary appreciated the courage of the people, who bravely faced the calamity and resumed their daily life in the aftermath of the earthquake. The charge of school was formally given to the AJK government. The school has been built at the site of a school that was destroyed during the earthquake. The schools principal, two teachers and eight students had died when it collapsed. Foreign Office sources told reporters that the destroyed school consisted of only two rooms, while the school built by the Foreign Office is well equipped with all amenities. The project was launched in September 2006, while a committee of officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Additional Secretary Shahid Kamal, monitored the construction work. The school has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 12.8 million and covers an area of about 6,200 square feet. The design and structure of the building conform to the safety and quality standards approved by ERRA. over 150 students from nursery to class 10 will get education at the school. The building consists of eleven well-furnished classrooms, an administration block and computer and science laboratories. Mountain and Glacier Protection Organisation President Aisha Khan assisted the Foreign Office in executing construction work by providing logistic support and coordination for the project. The school is a flagship project in terms of its high quality design, earthquake resistant construction and excellent learning facilities.