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September 19, 2020

1,000 community schools to be opened in province, KP Assembly told

National

September 19, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was told on Friday that about 1,000 community schools would be opened in the province besides reopening of the maktab/masjid schools.

Winding up debate on education, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Akbar Ayub said he had approved the establishment of 1,000 community schools in the province. Sites for the schools would be identified through Frontier Education Foundation, he added. The community schools would be opened in villages that did not have a school in a one-kilometer area for which one teacher would be provided, the minister said, adding, the maktab schools would also be reopened in the province. He said 30,000 more teachers would be recruited, including 5000 from the merged districts.

Akbar Ayub said that testing service would shortlist candidates to improve the quality of teaching. He claimed the NTS was no loss no profit agency and assured the House that the province would not utilise the services of any agency from out of the province. He said 8,000 schools would be solarised and missing facilities would soon be provided. “The upgradation of schools is on the agenda,” he added. Earlier, initiating the debate, Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak said that in 2013 the then finance minister had announced an education emergency in the province.

The ANP leader said after 18th Amendment, education was the provincial domain, but an announcement about the introduction of uniform syllabus came from Islamabad, which was a violation of the Constitution. He said all tests were being conducted through testing agencies and one testing agency NTS collected Rs55 billion from candidates of the province during the last three years. “Who own the testing agencies? The accountability institution should hold an inquiry into the anomalies in the name of testing,” he demanded. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader Sardar Yousaf Zaman said the educational institutions destroyed in the 2005 earthquake were yet to be restored despite the lapse of 15 year. He said schools in his constituency lacked teachers while maktab schools had been closed.

Khushdil Khan of ANP said Article 25 A, Article 37 and 38 said that provision of education to every child was the state’s responsibility, but even after 74 years, millions of children were out of school. The existing schools lacked teachers, a number of high and higher secondary schools were without headmasters and principals and science teachers, six universities are without vice-chancellors, he said, questioning where were the education reforms. Nisar Mohmand said 15,000 students from to ex-Fata could not avail the facility of online classes so how they could compete with students from other parts of the province. He complained that girl colleges in his constituency did not have Class-IV. He informed the House that a school in his constituency has been turned into hujra and another into residence. He also complained of a shortage of textbooks that were not available in market but the department failed to provide complete set of books to the students. The MPA from Mohmand district said testing agencies were fleecing the poor students. A polytechnic institute in our area was closed due to non-provision of teachers, he complained. Mir Kalam Wazir said that according to a survey, there was no girl school in 122 union councils in the merged districts. After merger it was promised that the quota for students from ex-Fata would remain intact and scholarships would also be provided to the tribal students, but many educational institutions of the country have withdrawn the quota and charging fee from the students, he said. He called for inclusion of Pashto in syllabus as compulsory subject. The educational institutions in tribal areas destroyed during military operations should be restored, he demanded. Ahmad Karim Kundi of Pakistan People’s Party said the community as a whole, including the rulers, were responsible for the bad situation of education in the country.

Hafiz Isamuddin of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam said seminaries were playing a major role in educating the poor students. He complained that the quota of ex-Fata students has been abolished, which was injustice with the people of the underdeveloped areas. Bahadur Khan of ANP said Bacha Khan Model School in Munda had been closed and the two girls and two boys schools in his constituency were without staff while many others needed repair. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Private Partnership Bill, 2020 was introduced in the House before the session was prorogued sine die.