PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor has abolished the controversial education rationalisation policy implemented in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The plan, prepared by the Fata Secretariat’s education directorate in November 2015, led to the closure of 561 schools across the tribal areas, mostly primary schools for both girls and boys.
According to the policy, schools with less than 70 students were merged with nearby schools to save government resources and improve the standard of schools.
However, the move was criticised by tribesmen, civil society members and education and rights activists, who staged protests and expressed displeasure at the new policy. Despite fierce public opposition, the Fata secretariat had approved and implemented this plan in all tribal agencies.
An official of the Fata Secretariat cited various reasons for abolishing the education rationalisation policy. According to him, the governor had declared an educational emergency in Fata and launched an enrollment drive in April last year, resulting in a higher school enrollment ratio, providing admissions to as many as 7,558 out-of-school children.
Citing the provisions of Article 25A of the Constitution, the official pointed out that education was among every child’s basic rights and said that this was why the governor had decided to reopen all closed schools.
The official said that most of the closed schools were either located in Hujras or run by influential persons.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2017.