Balancing act: Primary schools should be set up in place of maktabs, demands JUI-F lawmaker

Published: October 8, 2015
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Various opposition lawmakers voiced their grievances over the deplorable state of education across the province. PHOTO: REUTERS

Various opposition lawmakers voiced their grievances over the deplorable state of education across the province. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: Primary schools should be set up in place of maktabs which have been closed down in various districts of the province, urged a legislator at a standing committee meeting on Thursday.

The demand was put forward during a meeting of the K-P Assembly Standing Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education held in the conference room of the Assembly Secretariat, said an official handout. It has revived a fierce debate on the decision to discontinue maktabs and transfer students to government-run primary schools.

The meeting was presided over by the chairman of the standing committee, Muhammad Arif, and attended by a large number of committee members.

Various opposition lawmakers voiced their grievances over the deplorable state of education across the province.

Where will the children go

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) PK-70, Bannu-I MPA Azam Khan Durrani pointed out the negative outcomes of the decision to close down maktabs and merge them with primary schools.

“Many children have been stripped of the opportunity to get an education because of the government’s decision to discontinue the maktab schooling system,” the handout quoted him as saying.

Durrani suggested the government set up primary schools on a need-basis in all areas where maktabs have been closed down. He informed the committee previous governments never adopted such policies against maktabs.

On the contrary, DEOs during the previous government had released Rs2.1million to each maktab to fulfil their basic requirements, said the JUI-F lawmaker. Durrani added as per the rules of the Parent Teachers Council, every government school and maktab is provided funds on an annual basis. “DEOs in various districts of the province have released a huge amount to maktabs this year as well,” the statement quoted him as saying. “This matter should be looked into and the amount should be reimbursed.”

A question of malpractice

“The K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Special Secretary drew attention to the appointment of new teachers across the province,” read the statement. “The secretary said teaching posts at some schools remain vacant. Most schools are also waiting for school buildings to be constructed.”

At the meeting, JUI-F MPA Zareen Gul accused the DEO of Torghar of making illegal appointments in posts for Class-IV employees in government schools. He claimed the DEO had collected Rs10,000 from each employee in return for the post. According to Gul, a probe should be conducted in this regard.

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