Imran okays education reforms

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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has given green signal to the government of his party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to implement reforms in education sector proposed by the working group, according to officials.

They said that PTI chief asked the elementary and secondary education department to make all-out efforts for achieving the Millennium Development Goals during the tenure of his party government in the province.

“Ensure that by 2015 children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling,” state the Millennium Development Goals.

Officials said that Imran Khan was briefed about the recommendations of the working group during a meeting held on Saturday night in Islamabad. The meeting was presided over by KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak while members of the working group and representatives of Jamaat-i-Islami, Qaumi Watan Party and Awami Jamhoori Ittahad Pakistan were also present.

A participant of the meeting told Dawn that Imran Khan stressed on effective management and monitoring system of public sector schools across the province to make the educational institutions result-oriented. He said that PTI chief advised them to make more use of information technology in the schools as it was need of the hour.

After briefing by the officials, Imran Khan asked the high-ups of education department to devise effective strategy to decrease dropout rate of students in the government schools and enhance enrolment of children. He said that there should be no out of school child.

Officials said that an enrolment campaign would be launched in September across the province to create awareness among parents to send their children to schools. The chief minister would lead the enrolment campaign, they added.

The entire bureaucracy, district administration, officials of the education department, civil society and public representatives would be engaged in the enrolment campaign to make it more effective.

The PTI chief also asked the chief minister to announce financial package for the officials working in the provincial secretariat of education for improving their performance, officials said. They added that the financial package would motivate officials to work with more zeal that would help to accelerate work on the reforms in the education sector.

Imran Khan, Pervez Khattak and other participants of the meeting expressed satisfaction over the proposed reforms, particularly the devolution of power from provincial level to district and from district to school level.

The devolution of power plan includes devolving more financial and administrative powers to the headmasters of high and higher secondary schools and establishing of governing bodies at schools level that would be headed by the elected representatives, bureaucrats and prominent personalities in the area.

The reforms include establishing of examination commission to conduct examinations of grade-V and VIII, curricula authority which will oversee the curriculum, textbooks and examination standards. Imran Khan also asked education department to ensure transparency in the recruitment, posting and transfers of the teachers, officials said.