The government has launched the Enrolment Emergency Campaign 2016. The Schools Education Department has been asked to ensure 95 per cent enrolment of out-of-school children between the ages of 5 and 16 by October 31, 2016 and 100 per cent by 2018.
This has been stated in an official letter, issued to education and administrative officials by the government, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
The letter has set the enrolment target in the province at 3.8 million children in pre-primary and grade 1; 7.7 million children in grade 2 and grade 5; and 3.7 million children in middle, secondary and higher secondary classes. These children are to be enrolled in government schools. Breakup of enrolment targets for each district has also been provided to the officials.
The letter further states that the campaign will be carried out in two phases. “The first phase of the campaign will be carried out between April 1 and May 31. The second round will start on August 15 and end on October 31,” the letter states.
The letter also directs teachers and head teachers of middle, high and higher secondary schools to ensure that the targets are met. They have been asked to contact parents. The letter states: “Teaches will personally contact parents of each student who appeared in grade 5, 8 and 10 exams ask them to ensure their children get admission in grade 6, 9 and 11, respectively. The concerned head teachers will ensure admission of these students. Further, retention of all enrolled students shall be ensured by the head teacher and district education officer (DEO) concerned.”
A special enrolment campaign has been launched in Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan districts. “For this, a door-to-door survey of out of school children up to 16 years of age will be carried out,” it states. The letter states that the survey will be carried out in coordination with UNICEF. A sample survey form has also been attached with the letter.
The letter directs the Programme Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU) and Education EDOs to make use of electronic and print media for raising awareness among citizens about the campaign. “Posters, banners, public awareness walks and meetings with parents and local community should be arranged,” it states.
The EDOs have been directed to submit progress of enrolment and retention of students report on a daily basis to the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI). “The DPI will act as provincial focal persons for the enrolment emergency campaign. They will submit consolidated progress of enrolment of all districts on the prescribed format to the department on a daily basis,” it states. According to the letter, DCOs will coordinate and supervise the campaign and review it during meetings with EDOs. “The School Education Department secretary will also hold periodic meetings with all EDOs to review the progress of enrolment of children. The chief minister and the chief secretary will monitor the progress made in enrolment and retention targets,” it states.
On March 29, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had presided over a meeting to review various proposals regarding the National Enrolment Programme Campaign. He had said that the government was implementing a comprehensive programme for promotion of quality education. He said that every child in the province would be enrolled in a school by 2018.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2016.