PESHAWAR: Participants at a workshop on Tuesday suggested a three-fold strategy to reduce drawbacks in the primary education system in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The workshop was organised by the Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation. Education Sector Reforms Unity (ESRU) Deputy Director (coordination) Hamid Naveed, members of various NGOs and civil society members participated in the seminar. Participants urged to develop infrastructure, start training programmes for teachers and revise the curriculum.
PEAD Chief Executive Samina Imtiaz said that there were 27,614 schools across the province out of which only 27,207 were functional and 407 schools (387 primary and 20 secondary) were not functional.
She said that 49% of primary schools for boys were running, while 45% did not have electricity. Likewise, around 27% of boys and 9% of schools lacked latrines and 411 boys and 632 girls schools did not have boundary walls. Nearly 493 boys and 2,150 girls schools were without a proper water supply.
Imtiaz further said that the total number of teachers in government schools was around 115,00 out of which 76,000 were men and 39,000 women. She added that most teachers were not properly trained.
She said that the overall dropout ratio from nursery to class five in government primary schools, over a period of six years, was 45%, with 39 % boys and 53% girls dropping out.
“Despite government efforts, funding from organisations and plethora of civil society organisations working on the promotion and uplift of education, their efforts seem to be futile,” said a speaker, Ishaq Khan.
Deputy Director Naveed said that out of the Annual Development Programme budget 70% would be spent on strengthening girls’ education and 30% on boys’ education.
The K-P government has launched a programme titled ‘Stori Da Pakhtunkhwa’ to promote female education, Naveed said, adding that students were given financial assistance under the project.
“Initially 100 schools were financially supported and we planned to extend support to 200 schools, but when the chief minister announced that Rs1 billion would be allocated to the programme, our new target is to assist 500 schools in the province,” he said.
PEAD Programme Manager Tariq Hayat said, “It is not merely the duty of the government to bring positive changes in the education system; the real stakeholders are the parents and local communities, who should also contribute to the policy and decision-making process.”