Taliban 'Pushing Children to Stone Age' - Pakistan School Bombings
More than 700 schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have been destroyed or damaged by militants during the past four years, putting thousands of children behind in their studies, according to KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department figures.

About 555 of the 750 schools that were damaged in Taliban attacks since 2010 have been rebuilt, according to the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department. About 200 schools are under renovation or reconstruction now.

Still, the continued attacks in Matani are taking a toll on the psyche of the residents.

"An atmosphere of total fear prevails in the area as many would not even tell us the name of the school's headmaster when we went there to investigate," Matani Chief Investigation Officer Riaz Khan said.

"People in Matani villages don't even step out of their homes at night," he said. "Who would want to be slaughtered [by the Taliban]?"

"A deepening sense of fear and torment prevails with students," Muhammad Iqbal, a teacher, said. "They ... live in a constant depressing situation." Bombings are a routine affair in Matani, and as a result, educational activities have been badly affected, he said.

The militants have shown little regard for civilians and children as they continue their so-called war on education by attacking schools. Educational institutions have accounted for 13 per cent of recorded attacks throughout the war on terror, the Institute for Economics and Peace reported last December in its Global Terrorism Index.

"There is not a single school in the Matani area that has not been attacked," Riaz said, noting that, if a room or two remained after a bombing, militants sometimes bomb it again.

Militants want to traumatise children and weaken the writ of the government, former National Assembly member Bushra Gohar said.

"They are creating confusion in society," the Awami National Party (ANP) leader said. "[They are] trying to push back our children to the Stone Age."

Posted by: Glenmore 2013-07-08