Fri, Dec 16, 2011 - Page 2 News List

ROC official tours Taiwan-funded school in Pakistan

Staff writer, with CNA, MANSEHRA, PAKISTAN

Teachers and students at a high school in Mansehra, Pakistan, do a thumbs up gesture to express their gratitude to Taiwan on Wednesday. The school was rebuilt following the 2005 earthquake using donations by the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China.

Photo: CNA

Faculty members and students at a Taiwan-funded high school in Pakistan expressed gratitude on Wednesday to a visiting Taiwanese representative for Taiwan’s aid in getting the facility up and running.

Rung Yu-jiun (容雨君), a charity work specialist with the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (ROC), was the first Taiwanese delegate to visit the school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan, since it was rebuilt in June.

The school, in the remote mountain village of Battang, was destroyed in a powerful earthquake that hit the Kashmir region and northwestern areas of Pakistan on Oct. 8, 2005.

The ROC Red Cross Society donated US$470,000 to help with the country’s post-earthquake reconstruction projects in the fields of education and community healthcare. A portion of the funds was used to rebuild the Battang high school, with work finally completed in June.

Rung was accompanied by Basharat Ullah Khan, a hardware reconstruction coordinator at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ representative office in Pakistan, on her first visit to the mountaintop school, which is a six-hour drive from Islamabad.

Covering 697m2, the campus houses a two-story building with six classrooms. One side of the school’s main gate is inscribed with English words showing that the school was donated by Taiwans’ Red Cross Society.

The school can accommodate 250 students, but at present has only 110 sixth-to-eighth-grade children, with a staff of six teachers.

Rung was warmly greeted by the teachers and students when she arrived at the campus.

Ali Asghar, one of the teachers, told Rung that he and all the other faculty members deeply appreciated Taiwan’s assistance in rebuilding the school, which allowed young Pakistanis to continue their studies.

“We want to give our best wishes to all Taiwan people,” he said.

Rung distributed gifts to the -students and said she was impressed by the school’s design and construction quality, as well as its beautiful scenery.

School administrators said the local government plans to allow the school to enroll ninth and 10th-grade students to maximum capacity.

Nevertheless, they said, the school is troubled by power shortages. In response, Rung said she would ask the Red Cross and Red Crescent federation to assist in resolving that issue.

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