KP to Enact Right to Compulsory Education Bill Soon

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government intends to enact the Right to Compulsory Education Bill soon.

The provincial government is presently considering the financial implications of the bill and the actual need of enrolment of an estimated 2.5 million out-of-school children, stated Minister of Education Muhammad Atif in a briefing session organised by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) at a local hotel. The session was organised to brief KP Assembly Standing Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education on provincial districts educations budgets. Education Minister Muhammad Atif, Chairman Standing Committee on Elementary and Secondary Muhammad Arif, MPA Amina Sardar, MPA Uzma Khan, MPA Rashda Riffat, MPA Meraj Humayun Khan, MPA Zareen Zia, and Special Secretary E&SED Musarat Hussain participated.

CGPA Research and Advocacy Coordinator, Malik Masood presented research study on the Nowshera district education budget. It was revealed in the study that 95-97% current budget was allocated to staff related expense while a mere 1-3% left for running cost of the schools in current budgets. It was highlighted that citizens’ participation in budget making process has been minimal and the allocations were made at provincial level without considering the actual needs. Gender disparity in the enrolment rate is the highest where women literacy rate is only 33% in KP.

KP Minister of Elementary and Secondary Education, Muhammad Atif informed the participants that KP government has allocated Rs 4 billion for operation and maintenance, which is 100 percent increase as compared to previous year. The standing committee took keen interest in school-based management model, which CGPA will soon be presenting. MPA, Miraj Humayun on the occasion stressed need for building new schools so the issue related with access to education service can be addressed. 

Executive Director CGPA Muhammad Anwar appreciated the government piloting the idea of output based budgeting and stressed to incorporate school-based management model which will decentralize the powers at grass root level and improve the education sector delivery. Anwar also underlined the need for holding local government elections so education department can be devolved to districts. Besides others Amina Sardar, Uzam Khan, Rashida Rifat and Zarin Zia also spoke on the occasion.