Swat History

WHEN EDUCATION WAS FREE FOR ALL

In 1950, when I joined school, it was a big change in my life. I had to rise very early in the morning and got myself prepared for the school. My school at Shagai was very far from my home in Afsar Abad. But there was no alternative because lower classes were excluded from higher one. There were no private schools in the whole four thousand square miles area of Swat State. Courses were at par to those of other schools in the then N.W.F.P. Rich and poor had the same ‘malatia’ uniform and De-Gaulle type of Cap. Those lucky students who kept their head leveled and concentrated on the studies, reached unimaginable heights in practical life without distinction of creed and caste.

Success depended on the devotion of students and concentration on their goals. If I had not gone astray, I would have gained some substantial status in practical life. We had a class fellow whose father was very old and poor. His elder brother was dumb and could not hear also. He weaved sweaters all the year and his young brother went to school. His name was Faramosh Khan which he changed. He was given scholarship by the State and he graduated from Peshawar University. After serving for a short period, he went to Saudi Arabia and became their Chief Engineer. Another lucky student whose father was a potter got educated and retired as Power Head of WAPDA. Similarly, intelligent students were sent by the State to all the professional colleges. They were given monthly scholarships and a lump sum amount every year for books. One of my friend from my childhood used to send half of scholarship to his father. He became Engineer of International fame, supervised and designed the construction of Tarbela Dam.

Adolescence age determine a boy’s life. If one is not carried away by his emotions and physical changes and passes the critical period of fourteen years to eighteen years, with controls over his awakening body, he then cannot go astray. But we get lost in those emotional waves, and before our eyes opens, everything is out of our reach. We also had coeducation, even in high classes, till separate schools for girls were constructed. Those who could afford, they sent their daughters to Lady Griffith High School, Peshawar. Many lady doctors were sponsored by the State, who graduated from King Edward Medical College, Lahore. The first Batch included Dr. Chand Bibi, Dr. Noor Jehan and Dr. Zeenath of Saidu Sharif.

Fazal Raziq Shahab belongs to the historic village of Aboha, Swat. His writings on Swat State provides very useful information to the general readers and researchers. He remained Swat State functionary and thus observed the happenings of the State very closely. He is the author of two books and his Columns has been a regular feature of Daily Azadi, Bakhabarswat.com and Lafzuna.com.
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Fazal Raziq Shahab belongs to the historic village of Aboha, Swat. His writings on Swat State provides very useful information to the general readers and researchers. He remained Swat State functionary and thus observed the happenings of the State very closely. He is the author of two books and his Columns has been a regular feature of Daily Azadi, Bakhabarswat.com and Lafzuna.com.
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