A new strategy has been introduced by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education department to ensure no children are out of school by 2020.
The Education Sector Plan (ESP) 2015-2020 was present during the second day of consultations on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 at a hotel in the city on Wednesday.
K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Additional Secretary Qaiser Alam highlighted the salient features of the strategy. “The plan aims to ensure all children are enrolled at schools by 2020.” According to Alam, Rs8.9 billion has been allocated for the initiative under the development budget.
“The department has completed the plan and is going to give it practical shape,” he said. “Under this plan, vehicles have been provided to district education officers. Their offices have been furnished and modern technology has been made available.” Alam said, “Meanwhile, in some districts, the government has ensured all schools have six rooms and six teachers.”
As per the additional secretary, all schools that have remained non-functional will be reopened by 2020. “Not a single institute would remain closed,” he added.
The additional secretary said there are a series of hurdles for implementing this strategy and efforts are afoot to address them at once. “Political interference and absence of concrete data on children who are out of school are the main challenges,” he said.
According to Alam, the K-P government has approved PC-1 to conduct a household survey. “This will help collect accurate figures of children who are out of school across the province,” he said. “These surveys will be carried out soon and are likely to be completed by December.”
Speaking on the occasion, Peshawar DEO Muhammad Basit Khan shared details of the number of non-functional schools in Peshawar.
“Around 26 schools were non-functional due to a variety of reasons,” he said. “After 2013, only eight such schools exist.”
Meanwhile, Bannu DEO said 87 schools were non-functional in the past and have now been reopened.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2016.