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Qadeem said the main task of the caretaker govt to ensure free and impartial elections
Peshawar: Low enrollment rate and inequality, high dropout rate and weak learning output is the sum total of the problem with the education system of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and to fill in the gap between the available resources and the immediate need there is a gap of over Rs.86.511 billion rupees as per the calculation made during the current financial year.
However, briefing a donors conference at a local hotel in Islamabad Thursday, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister Education, Information and Public Relation Musarrat Qadeem said that though the main task of the caretaker government is to ensure free and impartial elections but while they are also looking after the day to day affairs of the government, they wanted to make an impact.
The conference was co hosted by GIZ with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and participated by representatives of UNICEF, EU Cooperation, AusAID, USAID, CIDA, Save the Children, Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad, International Association of Japan, DFID representatives of Planning and Development, and Elementary and Secondary Education departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The participating donors are partners of the KP Government in promoting education facilities and achieving the Millennium Development Goals MDGs where Pakistan is trailing far behind the target.
While welcoming the delegates, the Minister Education said that though theirs was not a Political Government, but it is “a blessing” too as they ware “free to take decisions in all matters, purely on merits, without any political or external pressures” thus were able to disburse “the available resources of the province equally and transparently among all the districts”.
She informed that “19% of its total budget, both development and non developmental” has been allocated to Education of which 80% had been spent on Primary Education. With regard to the extent and volume of education department, she informed that out of “approximately 295,000 employees of Provincial Govt. 175,000 are in the Education Department alone which is 57%”.
Again out of the total developmental budget for Primary Education, 70% has been spent on promotion of female education. But still like the whole of Pakistan, there is a great gender disparity in Educational facilities for boys and girls. “The number of Female Schools, teachers and students is almost 1/3 of the total numbers.” She informed. There are just 17% Secondary & higher schools which is one of the main reasons behind the high rate of dropouts.
Besides referring to the government efforts to encourage private sector in promotion of education, Musarrat Qadeem also referred to the schemes launched by the previous governments like Public Private Partnership schemes “Rokhana Pakhtunkhwa Programme”, under which private parties have been encouraged to open schools in those union councils where no govt. facility is available.
Establishment of Public Private Collaboration PPC Schools in the existing Govt. buildings in the second shift; “Stoori Da Pakhtunkhwa Programme” under which scholarships are awarded to talented students of Public Sector Schools; “Conditional grants” an initiative of the provincial government to expedite the development work and improve the efficiency of resources through community involvement.
And “to bring the least developed areas of the province to the level of developed districts “Scholarship scheme for promotion of girl’s education in Torghar & Kohistan” which has considerable impacts on the girls education. Introduction of Early Childhood Care and Education in regular education system; Independent Monitoring & Data Collection System in Education; increasing the spending limit of parent teachers association and more autonomy to them regarding their schools to encourage community participation all are schemes targeting specific targets.
It was felt that the participating donors seemed to be ready to support the extension of the scheme launched in Torghar & Kohistan to a few other backward areas also.
The Secretary Elementary and Secondary Education Mohammad Hamayun Khan briefed the participants in detail about the gap between these gaps while Chief Economists Shahab Ali Shah explained various technicalities arising from time to time. Later each and every delegation commented on various aspects of the ESP and it was unanimously decided to avoid overlapping and duplication of efforts such coordination conferences will be quarterly convened and each of their donors/development partners will host them one by one.