PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is all set to take Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiated vision “Education for All” to further heights in its tenure, considering education indispensable for socio-economic development of the people.
The KP government under this visionary initiative in previous tenure had completed scores of gigantic projects, increased its budget, provided missing facilities in government schools, and also enrolled out-of-school street children to revitalise this key sector.
Special Secretary Education Department Arshad Khan told APP that in PTI’s previous regime some 55,000 teachers’ induction on merit helped improve standard of education significantly.
He said a state of the art Cadet College for Girls in Mardan, set up by the PTI government, was a landmark achievement and an evidence of the importance the party was giving to women’s education.
He said that a hefty amount of Rs30 billion on provision of missing facilities including washrooms, additional class rooms, boundary walls, playing areas, and furniture to government schools was incurred to achieve desired results.
The KP’s education budget, which stood at Rs63 billion in 2013, was taken to record Rs138 billion in 2017, showing a massive increase of 114 per cent. “It reflects PTI’s commitment towards education,” officials in KP Education Department said.
As a result of these measures, peoples’ confidence was restored over government schools as the condition of some 24,000 schools in the province had a new look and raised the standard of education significantly.
The PTI had also accepted challenge of reconstruction of 760 schools ignored in Abbototabad, Haripur, Manshra, Batagram and Torghar due to devastating 2015 earthquake.
In addition to equipping high and higher secondary schools with IT labs under local and foreign standardisation project, the KP government constructed playing areas in 7,000 schools besides 157 playgrounds to ensure students’ mental and physical growth.
PTI government’s carrot-and-stick policy brought back nearly 150,000 students from private education sector to public schools and effective monitoring system helped ensured 86 per cent attendance of the teachers and relevant staff.
Moreover, a series of School Quality Management Initiative (SQMI) trainings was launched to improve field-level monitoring and professional assistance of teachers at primary level. Through SQMI, Assistant Sub Division Education Officers (ASDEO) was directed to observe and share immediate feedback for further improvement in teaching practices.
Each ASDEO is supposed to observe a class of 35 minutes using the Android-based application on tablet or PC provided by the education department, besides assessing student learning and providing feedback to the teachers.
Another key initiative was an excellence award announced by the OTI government to encourage hardworking teachers and also to create an environment of competition among teachers to achieve desired goals.
Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) was established under which a principal who had shown good performance was awarded with Rs100,000 and teacher with Rs50,000 and Rs200 per month stipend was given to girl student of class 6-8 and Rs500 per month from class 9 to 10th.
Likewise, KP Private Schools Regularity Authority (KPPSRA) was setup to regulate and monitor performance of private schools in the province. Work on construction of 70 girls and 30 boys higher secondary schools is in full swing and directives are issued for its completion at earliest, the official remarked.
Under 283 million UK pounds DFID Project, infrastructure of government schools, provision of missing facilities, technical assistance for capacity building and quality assurance of staff was being ensured in the province. Through the USAID project, the official said reading skills of Grade 2 and 3 students were being improved in 15 districts of KP and these projects have brought laurels in the education sector in KP.
Asked about education reforms in recently merged tribal districts, the official said KP Education Department was ready to shoulder responsibility of tribal children, saying, “We are ready to open schools even in government rest houses and surplus buildings of tribal chieftains and Maliks in Mohmand, Bajaur, North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber districts, if provided for this noble cause.”