Moving In The Right Direction Education Emergency In Kp

KP government is alert to the education needs of the province. The government has imposed education emergency and it should be gauged by the increases in education budget that is unprecedented in the history of the province.

Legislation on the Right to Education could have been done in days but it is taking time because of detailed homework on education financing. Bringing the education service delivery up to the mark requires more time however control on teachers’ absenteeism, elimination of negative political interference in appointments and transfer, strengthening education monitoring by establishing independent monitoring unit and teachers’ training are the issues that have remained unresolved in past.

Present government has taken practical measures for resolving all these issues. Moreover government has decided for inclusion of the union and neighbourhood council members in the Parent Teacher Councils (PTCs). Debates on the change of school uniform are still underway but it is presumed that the decision will rest with the schools for adopting a uniform of their choice. Decentralization and devolution of powers at community level suggested in the school based management approach is a way forward. Despite limited resources available to the government for further measures required to improve education service delivery on a good standard, KP government is doing its best. This was stated by Muhammad Atif Khan, KP Elementary and Secondary Education minister in a seminar ‘Primary Education Governance in KP, Issues and Way Forward’ arranged by Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) and District Development Challenge Fund (DDCF).

Professor Soharwardi, Peshawar University, stressed on the importance of primary education and said that the resources spent on higher education cannot bear any fruit unless the primary education is not improved. He said that the policy makers and the executive should consult academics before taking decisions. He also pointed out the very poor building conditions in a number of government schools and said that they should be repaired.

Muhammad Ajmal manager research and publications CGPA did a detailed presentation of the primary education budget trends and identified deficiency of resources, gender disparity, negligence meted out to the primary sector and meagre resource allocation for operation and maintenance of government schools as main findings of the research that was carried out by CGPA with cooperation from District Delivery Challenge Fund. Habib ur Rehman presented on the school based management approach and briefed about how the implementation of school based management can solve many of the problems education sector is facing today. Besides, the seminar was attended by the educationists, civil society representatives, media personal and the other interested. Participants pointed to the problems and needs in education service delivery. The minister addressed the questions and referred to the improvements that have happened in the present regime. Participants raised questions which were addressed by the presenters and the minister and a healthy debate on other issues and problems in government schools was done covering the subjects of character building in schools, curriculum, gender disparities, responsibilities of nongovernmental stakeholders, legislation on Right to Education in KP and the performance based evaluation of teachers. It was concurred by the participants that required improvements can happen only by ensuring participation in education budgeting of all stakeholder including parents, teachers, students, civil society, education department, government and the political representatives. The participants also demanded accountable and transparent education budgeting in KPK.