“My parents were miserable because they were feeling the pain of those who lost their children, but we (children) kept our emotions to ourselves; otherwise, our parents would not have sent us to school for some period. (16 years old from a private school)."
Everyone in Pakistan felt the tidal wave of depression and anxiety when the APS attack happened. It was one of the most horrid events in the timeline of terrorism because kids and their education got caught in the middle. It became one of the top school massacres in the world and gained worldwide attention. However what's interesting to note is that the fear was felt way beyond Peshawar.
Parents all over the country did not feel safe sending their children to school, no matter what city they were in. I was in the 8th grade when this happened, and I remember one of my classmates saying how her parents were thinking of pulling her out of school because of the fear that they had. An attack at an army school left its marks on all schools all over the country. We see from this that armed conflict and its connection to education is not isolated but widespread. The destruction it brings is not just to the specific area but also to the sentiments of all that can relate to sending their children to school. What this specific incident did was painted education to be dangerous and harmful. The lasting impacts of attacking schools in armed conflict are multifaceted. A gradual deterioration of educational opportunities and infrastructure. Gains made in terms of both access and quality of education are primarily rolled back, and students do not completely recover. Reduced funding for higher education has a negative impact on research and innovation. Due to continuing infrastructure targets, recurring investments in education have ceased.
A decline in educational quality has far-reaching consequences for a nation's progress in all areas: economic growth, political stability, social progress, poverty alleviation, and the health of mothers and children.