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Taiwan-funded school in Pakistan running well

2011/12/16 16:26:00

Mansehra, Pakistan, Dec. 14 (CNA) Faculty members and students at a Taiwan-funded high school in Pakistan expressed gratitude Wednesday to a visiting Taiwanese representative for Taiwan's aid in getting the facility up and running.

Rung Yu-jiun, a charity work specialist with the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, was the first Taiwanese delegate to visit the school in the northwestern Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since it was rebuilt in June this year.

The school, in the remote mountain village of Battang, was destroyed in a magnitude-7.6 earthquake that hit Pakistan's Kashmir and northwestern areas Oct. 8, 2005.

The ROC Red Cross Society donated US$470,000 to help with the country's post-earthquake reconstruction projects in the education and community health care fields. A portion of the funds were 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-ever visit to the mountaintop school, which is a six-hour drive from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Covering an area of 697 square meters, the campus houses a two-storey building with six classrooms. One side of the school's main gate is inscribed with English words showing that the school was donated by the Taiwan 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 appreciate Taiwan's assistance in rebuilding the school to allow young Pakistanis to continue their studies. "We want to give our best wishes to all Taiwan people," he added.

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.

According to school administrators, the local government plans to allow the school to enrol ninth- and 10th-grade students to maximum the use of its capacity.

Nevertheless, they noted, the school is troubled by power shortages. In response, Rung said she will ask the Red Cross and Red Crescent federation to assist in resolving that issue. (By Ho Horn-ru and Sofia Wu) ENDITEM/J