Schools of hatred

The latest bombing of a school in the Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency takes to 17 the number of schools targeted there since the military operation in the area began. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the attack. But this does not mean that damage has not been done. The terror among people continues to grow with each incident of bombing and other acts of violence.

However, in our effort to rein in the militancy, we should also look at what is happening inside schools all over our country, and not just to the structures that stand in the north. In many cases the hatred imparted by these schools has an impact on the pupils’ thinking and on the beliefs they hold. These, in turn, help create much of our society in terms of the degree of tolerance within it. The growth of extremism has, after all, been an outcome of these factors. There are many accounts describing the manner in which school curriculums act to narrow horizons.

We need to assess the situation as widely as possible. It is quite conceivable that the attacks we hear of in Bara, Bajaur, South Waziristan and other locations are in some ways linked to what is taught at centres of learning in Peshawar and other cities. If we are to truly overcome the extremism in our country a holistic approach needs to be taken and a policy developed which keeps these linkages in view.