Funding education: Higher budget allocation yielding dividends for K-P

Enrolment rates increase with better provision of facilities

Asad Zia June 30, 2017

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has claimed that it has built over 400 new schools for both, boys and girls, across the province over the past three years.

According to documents of the K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED), available with The Express Tribune, these schools had been equipped with facilities such as clean dirking water, toilets, electricity, and solar panels.

The documents further claimed that over the past three years, the ESED had built over 10,000 additional classrooms, 14,400 boundary walls 17,350 group toilets apart from providing electricity to over 10,550 schools and clean drinking water to 13,600 schools in the province.

The documents further showed that the education department had spent close to Rs21 billion on these missing facilities. This move, the ESED claimed, had helped improve the confidence of both, teachers and parent. As a result of the ESED reforms, student enrollment rates had increased while the drop-out rate had significantly decreased.

Moreover, the documents further showed that over the past three years, the department had hired around 40,000 teachers through the independent testing process provided by the National Testing Service (NTS). Further, over 83,000 teachers will undergo training on using English as a medium of instruction through the British Council.

Separately, more than 45,000 teachers are receiving training on phonics which will help improve the English pronunciation skills of teachers, and in turn their students. K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Atif Khan told The Express Tribune that theirs was the only province which had allocated the largest chunk of their annual budget for education.

Terming education a priority for the PTI-led government, he said that they had declared an ‘education emergency’ in the province.

“We cannot claim to bring around 100 per cent improvement in the education system, but we successfully brought it on to the right track,” Khan claimed. To encourage girl’s education and to improve enrollment of girls in government schools, he added, the government had built over 1,400 community schools where 70,000 students were studying.

The minister said that to encourage students studying in government schools, the ministry had provided facilities for extra- curricular activities in schools, establishing 5,000 play areas apart from setting up over 100 sports grounds in government schools across the province.

Moreover, Khan said that their government has introduced a teachers’ incentive programme to reward the best performing teachers.

He said that under incentive program nearly 2,000 best performing teachers had received cash prizes of Rs100,000 and Rs50,000 in 2016 while over 900 teachers received incentives in 2015.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2017.


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