The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government that has declared education emergency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is finding itself unable to reconstruct the destroyed schools or provide for missing facilities, and it is now launching a programme to seek help from well-heeled people. Speaking in the provincial assembly on Friday, Minister for Education Muhammad Atif Khan said PTI government was launching a “Tameer-e-School” programme to encourage affluent individuals to fund missing facilities in thousands of schools. He said his party Chairman Imran Khan would take ownership of this initiative. We have already posted on website 121 schools, missing facilities and estimated costs and asked people to sponsor any facility in any school of their choice,” he told the assembly session while winding up debate on education. The session was chaired by Speaker Asad Qaiser. The minister said they would add 100 schools every month. The minister presented a dismal picture of education in the province and expressed the government’s inability to provide funds. He said that 3,365 schools had completely been in ruins while another 1,008 had no buildings at all. “The provincial government cannot build thousands of schools,” he expressed government’s inability. And if the out-of-school children were to be educated, he added, the government needed to construct 22,000 new schools and 20,000 extra rooms in the existing schools. About the missing facilities, he said 46 per cent schools had no electricity, 28 per cent no toilets, 36 per cent no drinking water and 30 per cent no boundary walls. “I am not here to present you a rosy picture,” he said. “But let me say that the PTI government is not responsible for the current state of education. It’s the result of 65 years of neglect,” he argued. However, he said his government was trying to improve conditions. Under a new policy, he added, now a primary school would have six rooms and as many teachers. As recruitment of over eight thousands teachers would be completed in a week, 6,000 more would be appointed in the coming months. Atif Khan informed the house that the government had introduced biometric attendance system in 100 offices which would be extended to schools in the next phase. “It will ensure the teachers attendance in schools,” he hoped. For teachers’ monitoring, he said they had appointed monitors who would daily report from 28,500 locations to check absenteeism.
Earlier, opposition lawmakers ridiculed the PTI government’s education emergency and said that nothing had changed for the better. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s Maulana Lutfur Rahman and Qaumi Watan Party’s Miraj Humayun made speeches. The house passed three resolutions. One demanded of the federal government to provide blue passports to the members of the assembly and its grade-20 and 21 officers.Another resolution about implementation of rules and regulations made by the National Assembly on drugs and medicines was also passed. The resolution said non-implementation of the rules and regulations were creating problems for pharmaceutical industry. It asked the provincial government to ask the federal government to ensure the implementation within 90 days or else hand over control of drug and regulatory authority to the province under 18th amendment.