PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Elementary and Secondary Education department has trained nearly 0.2 million members of parent teacher councils (PTC) in 13 districts. However, PTC members criticised the complex procedure of receiving funds for missing facilities at schools.
Talking to The Express Tribune, K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Additional Secretary Qaisar Alam Khan confirmed his department trained nearly 0.2million PTC members to ensure the proper utilisation of funds in 13 districts.
Each PTC comprises seven members, including a cleric, three teachers and three parents whose responsibilities are to point out missing facilities and highlight problems faced by schools.
Qaisar said Rs7,000 would be provided annually to each PTC for basic renovation and repairs.
In addition, each committee would be given Rs1 million to construct an extra room and boundary wall at a school.
The secretary said PTC members were not active at first as they had no proper channels to receive the funds. “To boost the capacity of PTC members, they were trained in 13 districts in the first phase and an amount will be allocated in the budget for the second batch’s training,” he said. The additional secretary shared committee members were trained in Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda, Battagram, Torghar, Haripur, Malakand, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Buner, Kohat and Lakki Marwat during the first phase.
He said Rs7.5 billion was allocated for security arrangement at schools across K-P and this amount will also be spent through PTC members.
On their part, the committee members criticised the education department’s funding procedure, pointing out it would take one year to release the amount.
A PTC member in Peshawar, requesting anonymity, complained about the lengthy procedure.
He pointed out that for the repairs of a room, an application must first be submitted to the circle assistant district education officer who sends it onwards to the district education officer. It will subsequently do the rounds of the education department and the education secretary’s office before reaching the finance department. After final approval, the application will be sent back in reverse order through the same departments and offices.
Another PTC member, who is also a schoolteacher in Peshawar, said if the government takes matters seriously and provides timely funding to PTCs, there would be no missing facilities at schools. “PTCs were working on the urban level, but there was no such concept in rural areas.” He demanded the government strengthen PTCs.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2015.