PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Apr 7 2014 (IPS) - Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan.
“There is a steady increase in enrolment of students because parents have realised the significance of education, and now they want to thwart the Taliban’s efforts to deprive students of education,” Pervez Khan, education officer in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), tells IPS.
In 2012, he says, the literacy rate for girls was three percent in FATA. That rose to 10.5 percent in 2013.
The boys literacy rate shot up correspondingly to 36.6 percent compared to 29.5 percent.
The Taliban are opposed to modern education. They have destroyed about 500 schools, including 300 schools for girls.
Khan says the Taliban’s campaign against education is only propelling more of the tribal population towards schools.
“The majority of people know that the Taliban are pursuing anti-people activities, such as damaging schools, and therefore they are now coming in droves,” he says.