Steps taken to improve education: KP Assembly told

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Provincial Minister for Education, Atif Khan Monday apprised provincial assembly that KP government has taken drastic measures within a short span of eight months to improve education standard in the province. Winding up debate on Education emergency in the provincial assembly, Atif Khan said he is of the believe that without improving education sector in the country, problems including fundamentalism and economic slow down cannot be addressed.

Leader of opposition in KP Assembly, Mahtab Ahmad Khan and Parliamentary leaders including Lutfur Rehman of JUI(F) and Sardar Hussain Babak of ANP took part in the debate. MPA Mehraj Hamayun spoke from QWP, Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota from PML(N) and Nighat Orakzai from PPPP.

Replying to the speeches of opposition members, Provincial Minister for Education, Atif Khan said the development budget of education department has been increased from Rs. Nine billion to Rs. 23 billion. Similarly, the overall budge of Education has been increased from 66 billion to Rs. 86 billion with the objective of improving the standard of education besides giving facilities to the students.

He informed the house that there are around 28500 schools in the province where four million students are studying. The strength of teaching staff is around one and fifty thousand and two hundred thousands are employees of the education department. Since assuming charge in office, Atif Khan said he formed working groups which gave suggestions after thorough consultation and steps were taken for implementing recommendations of these groups.

Referring to concern of MPAs over around 25 million students who are out of schools, Provincial Minister said provincial government has recently launched enrolment campaign and enrolled around three hundred thousand students.

He said government would have enrolled more students, but the problem was lack of facilities in schools. He said presently about 2.1 million students out of total strength of four million are attending classes without chairs. We are still in need of constructing 10,000 more schools, he added.

The required funds for provision of chairs to all the students is estimated around Rs. Seven billion, he disclosed.

Atif Khan said around 8000 schools are without electricity, around 8000 without drinking water facility and the same number of schools are without boundary wall. He said it has been decided in principle that now every new primary school in the province will have six rooms instead of two rooms to provide accommodation to maximum number of students.

The government has also started process of appointing 8090 teachers to fill the short fall. To complete the process on emergency basis government decided to make this appointment on adhoc basis.

Similarly, the female supervisors are offered an incentive of additional 50 percent salary to serve in hard areas and girl students in two most backward districts of the province will get Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200 stipend.

He said 1500 Monitors have been appointed who will monitor presence of teachers and provision of facilities in schools through out the province. The monitors will be provided smart phones through which they will send report besides location of the schools to the headquarters.

Earlier, opposition MPAs criticized the government for not taking proper steps to improve education standard in the province.

They observed that government failed in fulfilling its promise of bringing change in education and health sectors.

Source:  The Frontier Post.