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Report paints bleak picture of education system in merged areas.

Byline: Mohammad Ashfaq

PESHAWAR -- The elementary and secondary education department first monitoring report regarding education in the merged districts has painted a bleak picture of student attendance in government schools.

The report says that about 40 per cent students remain absent from the schools.

The report has been compiled by Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) of the education department in light of the first visit of the monitors to the government schools in the seven tribal districts and six frontier regions.

Monitors find 40pc students absent during visits to schools

According to the report, the monitors visited 98 per cent of the merged areas while they couldn't go to the remaining two per cent due to precarious law and order situation.

It states that of 508,937 enrolled students, 192,243 were absent. It means that 38 per cent of the total students remain absent.

With alarmingly 70 per cent absent students, the erstwhile FR Lakki tops the list having most of the students remaining absent from schools at the time of the monitors' visit. The former FRs of Bannu and Tank stood second and third with 60 per cent and 59 per cent absent students, respectively.

Similarly, 57 per cent students were found absent in the entire South Waziristan tribal district and 52 per cent in North Waziristan. Also, 45 per cent absent students were reported in Khyber, 38 per cent in Mohmand, 27 per cent in Orakzai and 24 per cent in Bajaur.

In erstwhile FR of Dera Ismail Khan, 52 per cent absent students were reported while 38 per cent remained absent in FR Kohat and 27 per cent in FR Peshawar.

The monitors visited 5,788 government schools out of 5889, according to a statement issued by the provincial government here on Tuesday.

It states that 82 per cent teachers were present while 18 per cent were absent.

More than half of the government schools have been reported without electricity. It says that 55 per cent government schools have no electricity, 49 per cent schools are without drinking water, 30 per cent without washrooms, 18 per cent without boundary walls and 74 per cent non-teaching staff was also absent.

The report was issued after a detailed meeting of the IMU high-ups with the adviser to chief minister on elementary and secondary education, Ziaullah Bangash.

The meeting was also attended by the IMU project director Ziaul Haq, additional project director Abidullah Kakakhel, deputy director Asad Sarwar and officials of the education department.

Addressing the meeting, Ziaullah Bangash said that the services of IMU were extended to the tribal districts and frontier regions soon after their merger of the area into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Keeping in view the IMU report, he said, the government would make all out efforts to provide missing facilities to the government schools. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan issued special directives for improving education system in the merged districts.

However, sources in the education department told Dawn that the condition of the government schools, teachers and students in the merged areas was worst than reported by the IMU in its report.

As per procedure, sources said, the monitors paid surprise visit to the government schools to collect data of the present and absent teachers and students and missing facilities. However, the visit of the monitors to the schools in the merged districts was planned because it was maiden visit of the monitors, they said.

Sources said that the monitors were not aware about the location of the schools that was why the teachers and relevant officials of the education knew about the visit and helped the monitor to locate the schools.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jul 17, 2019
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