Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Higher Education, Information and Public Relations Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani has said that immediately on taking over Government, the PTI declared education emergency to address the problems of accessibility, equality, equity and improvement of quality on war footings in KP.
Working on these lines and sticking to its commitments, as many as 400,000(four hundred thousand) children of school going ages were collected from different workshops, markets and factories and admitted to schools the same year while this year over 600,000 to 700,000 more such children are enrolled in government schools.
Addressing the Inter Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference Tuesday he said that the next pressing problem was teachers’ absenteeism against which a sustained and vigorous campaign was launched and a proper mechanism adopted due to which cent per cent presence of teachers and government employees has not only been ensured in the urban centres but throughout the Province including its far flung areas.
He also pointed out that over 27 per cent Provincial budget has been allocated for education in the Province of which Rs.23million are spent on Reforms Implementation Unit of Higher Education while work on the establishment of a Knowledge City is also going on.
With regard to Higher Education, the Minister said that for the first time an academy has been established to make permanent arrangements for the training of all college teachers recruited afresh and the branches of this academy are established at the divisional headquarters level also.
On the other hand Rs.200million are spent on faculty development while an endowment fund of Rs.5 billion has been established to sponsor students to the 20 best universities of the world on merit cum need basis. This will encourage research and innovation in the higher education.
He pointed out that Research centres in the universities are developed with Rs.500 million. He also said that the policy of Performance Based Audit of Universities has been launched where not the government but independent experts will check the performance of the universities in the Province.
Such experts consisting of independent academia, he said will also keep the government timely informed of the future requirements of the universities and will also independently make recruitment of faculty. The government he said will not interfere in it and thus the Universities could not be politically influenced.
With regard to the marginalized groups, the Minister Higher Education said that each and every disabled (special person) is imparted free education while for the women the upper age limit has been abolished and now they can join their education at any stage of their life.
With regard to reform and review of the National Education Policy 2009, Mushtaq Ghani said that their Task Force in the Province is permanently working to continuously enact reforms and improve education facilities there.
Addressing on this occasion Additional Secretary Elementary and Secondary Education Qaisar Aalam said that the Provincial government had established its Education Task Force in a Focus Group discussion which will continue to work for reviewing education policy. He proposed that realistic targets should be fixed and allocation so proposed should be practicable so that the targets are achieved.