Shortcomings of government-run schools are the main reason for low enrolment and poor quality of education in the public sector.
This was the consensus of participants at a day-long discussion organised by the Institute of Social Policy Science (ISAPS). Titled ‘Citizens agenda for education reforms’, the event was attended by Jamaat-e-Islami’s former MPA Kashif Azam, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s Arbab Farooq Jan, officials of the education department and teachers from public schools.
According to official statistics, the ratio of school-going boys to girls in urban areas of district Peshawar is around 78% to 50% which further decreases to 65% and 31% in rural areas.
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Talking about the secondary schools, ISAPS Consultant Sadiq Tareen said only 36% male and 19% female students study further as most drop out for various reasons.
“Of the district's 746 schools, including 392 primary, 31 middle, 279 high and 44 higher secondary schools lack basic facilities. There are 430 institutes without electricity, 200 without water, 75 without proper toilets and 46 lack boundary walls,” Tareen said, quoting official statistics.
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Education department officials present at the discussion complained many public teachers are inducted without merit and thus become a burden on the department. They said such teachers become a hindrance to imparting education. As they have political affiliations, they try to influence the department’s work.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2014.
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