PESHAWAR: The provincial government has decided to conduct a census for out-of-school children across the province from next year.
This was shared by Jamiluddin, former director of the education department. He was speaking during the launch of a province-wide enrolment campaign in the city on Thursday.
He said the government has designed a survey for 3.5 million households across K-P to identify out-of-school children up to the age of 17. According to the estimates of the education department, the province has a population of nine million children between the ages of five and nine. The government intends to collect data from government schools, private schools and madrassas to ascertain the number of out-of-school children.
In the previous budget, the provincial government allocated Rs227m to conduct the survey. However, the survey will now be conducted through Department for International Development and for every 100 households, one primary schoolteacher will conduct the survey.
On the eve of International Literacy Day, the education department organised an event at Government Higher Secondary School Husnain Sharif Shaheed School No 1 Peshawar on Thursday.
K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser was chief guest on this occasion while Education Department Additional Secretary Qaiser Alam , among others, were also present on the occasion.
Need of the hour
Addressing the participants, Alam said the government intends to enroll 0.8 million children in schools during the campaign which will continue till September 30. The campaign will particularly focus on rural districts, female education and underutilised schools. He added the incumbent government has undertaken a series of development projects in the education sector. They have provided solar panels in 4,000 schools and have provided furniture in almost all schools across the province.
“The government has appointed 25,000 teachers while 15,000 more teachers will be hired this year to overcome the shortage of teachers across the province,” he added.
Qaiser said the main focus of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government was to make the education sector stronger.
“At least 28% of the budget was allocated towards education to improve standards [of learning],” he added.
According to the K-P assembly speaker, the government has undertaken several initiatives and introduced reforms to provide education facilities to every child of this province.
“Without external and political pressure, the provincial government equally shared development funds in all districts through the local government,” he said. “The education of women is a top priority for the PTI-led government. More funds will be allocated to enhance the education of girls as compared to the funds set aside to educate boys.”
In light of the International Literacy Day, Qaiser said the K-P government will continue the enrollment campaign for about six to seven weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2016.