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Thursday Dec 03 2020

Bhera assistant commissioner's unique approach to sealing school wins social media

The Assistant Commission (AC) Mohammad Murtaza interacting with students. Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Mohammad Murtaza

Bhera's assistant commissioner Mohammad Murtaza sealed a school in a village on Thursday, but his approach with children won hearts on social media. 

In a tweet on Thursday, the assistant commissioner shared his experience where he went to seal a school in a village near Bhera after it was found that coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)s were being violated.

However, upon his arrival at the site, he realised that non-compliance of SOPs was not the only problem but the negative impression in the minds of kids that authorities were taking away their access to education, also had to be done away with. 

"I sealed a school today. It was a small private school in a remote village half an hour away from Bhera. When the Headmaster saw us coming, he panicked and told the students to hide or run away. I did seal the school but tried doing it differently. Here’s what I did:

"I told all the kids to go back to class and carry-on their studies. I then went to every class and asked them if they were being good students[...].I then heard their 'sabaq' [lesson] of the day," Murtaza narrated on the micro-blogging site.

Stressing on the notion that "no child should be scared of authorities", Murtaza shared that he then sat with students to explain to them about their responsibility during the pandemic and why is it important for them to keep their families and loved ones safe from the disease.

"An AC is there to help and protect, not scare [children]!" he added.

The government official was pleasantly surprised during his exchange with students when he got to know, during a brief interaction, that they preferred education over vacations and staying-at-home. 

"What surprised me today was the dedication of these kids to study. In every class, I asked them if they wanted “chutti” - go home and relax!"

"When I was in school, we always wanted more and more holidays but in this village [Khan Muhammad Wala], the kids didn’t want the school to close!" he continued.

Murtaza admitted that sending the children back home felt "terrible" and "sick".

"How coronavirus has changed the world. The same people who campaigned for greater enrolment are now trying to close the schools. As an advocate for education, sending these kids home in a place where distance-learning is impossible, felt terrible and sick," the official added.