Most KP schools waiting for governing bodies

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The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Department is yet to form governing bodies in most government high and higher secondary schools in the province more than two years after taking a decision on it. Formation of these bodies was planned to improve academic activities and service delivery in government schools. According to officials at the department, there are around 2,100 high and higher secondary schools in the province but only around 200 of them have governing bodies.

They told Dawn on Friday that under the plan, eminent and influential persons or former students were to head these bodies as chairpersons for highlighting problems of the respective schools at appropriate forums for resolution.

The chairperson can be a federal or provincial minister, senator, a member of the national and provincial assembly and bureaucrat of any government department from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He or she is tasked with oversee and managing the affairs of the relevant school

He said principals of the schools performed as the secretary of their respective governing bodies. Officials said the governing bodies already established in schools were doing well. They said these bodies had collected donations from Rs0.5 million to Rs1.6 million from the well-off people in their respective localities for schools, while former students were using their resources for improving facilities there. The officials said schools with governing bodies had performed academically better than those without them. Under the plan, the chairpersons have to select the members of the governing bodies in consultation with the relevant principals, DCOs, and EDOs (education).

Besides the nominees of DCOs and EDOs, the chairperson may like to refer some very eminent and influential alumni of that school as a member of the governing body. A governing body is to not only generate funds for the respective schools but will also oversee academic activities, including regular review of the performance of teachers and learning achievements of students to ensure quality education. It is also tasked with monitoring the activities of the parent-teacher councils.

The governing bodies are also bound to oversee the proper use of library to promote reading habits among students besides supervising the best possible use of laboratory in accordance with the annual work plan based on the syllabus. The governing bodies are supposed to make efforts for promotion of co-curricula activities and maximum participation of the schools in annual tournaments. The holding of ‘Bazm-i-Adab’ sessions on regular basis in schools on the last working day to each month is also job of these bodies.

Under the plan, the governing bodies are to make efforts to find out way and means for financial support of poor students, recommending incentives for teachers’ showing good performance and to oversee the performance of scouts and girls guides.They are also tasked with sensitising the administration of schools to the students’ participation in tree plantation campaigns, and creation of awareness among teachers and students to keep their schools clean.