The underdeveloped Torghar district has no higher secondary school while 159 girls schools are non-functional in the province due to lack of female teachers, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was told on Thursday. To a question of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s Mufti Said Janan during question hour, the education department admitted that 159 girls schools, out of which 147 primary, have been closed due to lack of teaching staff. Among the closed schools, 12 primary schools and one middle school have been non-functional in Peshawar due to terrorism. Twenty-eight schools in Battagram, 14 in Charsadda, 18 in Kohistan, 15 in Dera Ismail Khan, 15 in Hangu, two each in Shangla and Tank districts and three in Swabi have not been in operation due to absence of female teaching staff. In Swat, 41 schools destroyed in militancy and floods are yet to be opened. Set up by MPA Zareen Gul, the lone higher secondary school in Torghar could not be made functional even its building was constructed almost two decades ago. The lawmaker objected to the department’s answer that there was no higher secondary school in the district. “When I was MPA in 1996-97, I got constructed a building for it. So, how you can say there is no higher secondary school,” he challenged. Minister for Education Muhammad Atif Khan acknowledged the building for the school was erected in 1994-95 but no teachers had been appointed as yet. “He (Zareen Gul) should not hold us responsible for it as we have been in the government for a very short time. I wonder why several successive governments did not appoint teachers for 16-17 years,” he said, but hastened to add the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government would start the school in “the shortest possible” time. Lawmakers from opposition benches severely criticised the education department and said it was not on its priority to improve education in the province. “If this is their performance, we can hardly hope for any improvement,” Zareen Gul said pessimistically. The opposition also made fun of the PTI government “education emergency” and said the poor state of education was proof that how serious they were about education. “I would urge you to please end this education emergency and revive the previous routine in the education department,” said Awami National Party’s Syed Jafar Shah. “At least it would help the education department in coming out of the current paralysis,” he said.The opposition staged a walkout when Zareen Khan pointed out that the education secretary was not present in the house to listen to their debate despite the speaker’s ruling. “You gave ruling yesterday that department secretaries should be present in the house but the education secretary is absent. It’s the show of disrespect to your ruling,” he pointed out. The lawmaker described the speaker’s ruling as “Afghani,” reference to a valueless Afghan currency in previous decades. With it, the opposition staged the walkout. Minister for Local Government Inayatullah objected to the use of language by the opposition lawmakers for the chair of the speaker. “The opposition’s behaviour is improper. They tried to make the chair of the speaker controversial,” he said. Speaker Asad Qaiser adjourned the session and ordered the education minister to ensure presence of secretary education within 10 minutes. The session was resumed when the secretary arrived at the assembly. Also, ANP’s Sardar Babak exchanged arguments with the speaker when he was not being allowed to speak. The speaker said he wanted to go by the agenda, but Babak insisted he would speak. “Your behaviour is upsetting,” Babak said. “We will not tolerate such a dictatorial attitude,” he said. When Sardar Idrees rose to ask for expunging the word “dictatorial” the opposition lawmakers shouted and did not allow him to speak. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Regularisation of Services of Ad hoc Lecturer Bill 2014 was tabled in the assembly by Muzaffar Said, a Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker. The passage of the bill would regularise the services of adhoc lecturers. Despite speaker’s repeated requests to the members of the house to explain their points in the shortest possible time to complete the yesterday’s agenda, the lawmakers insisted to speak on will. The proceedings prolonged and after the evening prayers, the session was adjourned for today (Friday) for lack of quorum.It left debate on health incomplete. The speaker said he would take up fresh agenda on Friday.
Source: The News.