An independent monitoring unit (IMU) has inspected over 95% of government schools in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa since it was established earlier this year.
This was shared by the Elementary and Secondary Education department in response to a question posed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) lawmaker Uzma Khan in the K-P Assembly last week.
According to a document provided by the department, Rs1.31 billion was allocated under Annual Development Programme (ADP) of 2013-14 to set up the IMU for a period of three years. Of this, Rs346.2 million has been spent on the watchdog so far.
Moreover, 26 officials have been appointed in the IMU on deputation from different government departments. Of these, about 19 officials are working as district monitoring officers, whereas seven have been appointed at the head office. Nearly 534 officials have been hired on a contract basis, the document added. Of these officials, 475 are monitors who regularly visit schools to ensure teachers are present, the department informed the house.
Nearly 303 of these monitors are men, while the remaining 172 are women. All monitors have been hired through the National Testing Service (NTS).
Moreover, 18 buildings across K-P have been leased out at a monthly rent of Rs632,000 to serve as IMU offices, stated the document.
The department told the house that the IMU monitored 25,622 government schools out of a total 28,583 schools in March. According to the document, the number of government schools monitored by the watchdog later increased to 26,637. By May, the number of schools monitored by the IMU touched 27, 375 schools.
Not a single school has been closed in the K-P since the IMU was established in March, claimed the document.
“Our monitors visit schools during school hours,” it added. “Any school which is found closed will be listed as closed.”
Furthermore, there has been a substantial reduction in teacher absenteeism at schools.
According to the document, IMU was established to create a strong monitoring system to improve access to education and governance in the education sector. “It provides the department with tools to measure service delivery, monitor progress and the implement reforms,” stated the document.
Moreover, the watchdog collects data on the illegal occupation of schools, absenteeism among teachers and students, parent teacher council (PTC) funds and facilities at schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2014.