PESHAWAR: Peshawar ranks 10th out of 25 districts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), according to Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Ranking Report 2014. Even though education is heavily featured in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s manifesto and is the most-oft heard sound byte from government officials, Peshawar is four spots down from the year before.
The report suggests Peshawar, the capital of K-P, has the lowest standards of education in the province, measuring various variables in the public sector.
It revealed only 16% of students in class five at government primary schools in the city can read a story in Urdu while only 24% of them can read a sentence in English. The percentage of students capable of reading Urdu has declined from last year when at least 22% of them could read a story in Urdu.
However, the readability of English has increased by 2%.
The rate of enrolment of school-going age children—girls and boys—in primary, middle and high schools in 2013 was higher than the current year’s.
The net enrolment rate in girls primary schools stands at 68% while that of boys is 67%. In middle schools the rate stands at 23% for girls and 27% for boys, and in high schools it is 12% and 13% for girls and boys, respectively.
According to the report, there are currently 414 girls and 647 boys primary schools in Peshawar. The number of female teachers in these schools is 2,175 while that of male teachers is 3,379.
Of loos and lavatories
The report was, however, positive about developments in school infrastructure and facilities in 2014.
It stated 91% of schools in the district have lavatories while 80% of schools have clean drinking water.
At least 61% of schools have electricity and 95% of schools are privileged enough to have boundary walls.
Yet, 4% of schools are functioning with only one classroom to accommodate all students.
However, there are still some schools where the teacher-student ratio is not quite impressive. Around 12% of schools have only one teacher for all students. In primary schools, there is one teacher for every 48 students.
Alif Ailaan Network Coordinator Umar Orakzai told The Express Tribune schools lack properly trained teachers.
He said the government should work on boosting the quality of education by training teachers in their relevant subjects.
Education department’s Additional Secretary Qaisar Alam said the present government utilised last year’s entire budget for education.
This year, Orakzai said, they have started various development projects to bring improvements in the education sector.
“Due to Tameer-e-School Programme, the construction of 50 schools has been completed so far with all required facilities, while 65 schools are under construction.”
He added 4,217 posts of primary, middle and high school teachers are also open for application. Tests will be conducted through NTS to hire these teachers.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2014.