NWFP governor and USAID team visit Khyber Agency
PESHAWAR: North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Governor Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, Mr Andrew S Natsios, on Saturday visited the Khyber Agency and Torkham border. They inspected a community school for girls in Khan Wali Killay and a women skill development centre at Shah Kas.
USAID Mission Director Mark S Ward, US Consul General in Peshawar Arlene Ferrill and other officials accompanied the NWFP governor and USAID administrator.
A large number of tribal elders, including the Agency’s Political Agent Arbab Muhammad Arif and other officials welcomed them at the community school. Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) Education Director Dr Abdur Rauf briefed them about the educational progress.
He said that special focus is being given to education in tribal areas for the last couple of years, which had not only improved the educational facilities but also increased the number of students. In 1992, the ratio of boy students was 51 percent as against only nine percent girl students, which has now reached to 68 percent and 19 percent respectively at primary level, whereas at middle standard the ratio of boy and girl students is at 49 and 10 percent respectively, the education director said
There were 1,586 and 548 boy and girl schools in 1992 respectively, but now the number has increased to 1,878 and 1,123 now respectively. There are also 809 communities schools working in the tribal areas.
Later, the governor formally inaugurated the newly established women skill development centre by unveiling the memorial plaque. The governor and the USAID delegation were told that the women were being provided training in hand knitting and sewing at the centre and the local women were taking interest in acquiring the skill.
They were also told that besides extending handicraft training, they are provided basic education as well. The governor was told that last year seven such centres were set up and the prospect of setting up more was also being explored. New sewing and knitting machines were being provided besides the appointment of three teachers at each centre.
Later, the governor and the USAID administrator went to the Michni post at the Torkham border. They were briefed about the background and strategic importance of the Khyber Pass and tribal life and culture.