PTI, ruling parties absent from programme.
PESHAWAR: To discuss the current situation of education across the province and to identify solutions to all prevalent problems, an all-parties conference was held at a hotel in the city on Monday. The programme was organised by Institute of Social and Policy Science (I-SAPS) in collaboration with Alif Ailaan, however, no one from the ruling parties showed up.
Opposition parties’ representatives criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its alliance parties for not taking an interest in education.
Awami National Party leader and former minister for education Sardar Hussain Babak said, “Although PTI declared an education emergency in K-P, no one from this ruling party and its alliance parties were present to discuss crucial issues of education department.”
He said his government had made drastic changes and developed the education system while the current government had not constructed a single school across the province. Babak also criticised the figures related to the education budget shared by I-SAPS representatives and said the current government had not even increased the development budget for 2015-16.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl leader Abdul Jalil Jan concurred with Babak and recalled the development work done in the education sector by the previous government. He said the incumbent government was not taking interest in education, evident from the fact that despite an imposition of an education emergency, a large number of schools were without basic facilities in the provincial capital.
Jan added the government should focus on education for girls as hundreds of girls schools across the province were closed due to various reasons.
In his presentation, I-SAPS representative Abdullah Alam revealed in 2010-11 the education budget for K-P was Rs50 billion which increased to Rs120 billion in 2015-16. He said so far 2.5 million children were out of schools and in the next 15 years, K-P will need 1,630 schools, 183,054 rooms and 57,619 teachers.
“According to a recent survey by Alif Ailaan across K-P, 24% government schools were without boundary walls, 46% were without electricity, 22% were without toilet facilities and 34% had no water facilities,” said Alam.
He added all provinces had passed a law regarding Article 25-A which the K-P had yet to enact.
During the programme, other members also shared the problems faced by their areas and urged the government to take serious action and address them.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2015.