Saturday June 22, 2024

'No salaries': Second shift classes in KP schools could be suspended

As many as 80,000 to 100,000 children are currently studying in afternoon classes in govt schools across KP

By Daniyal Aziz
May 29, 2023
Students wearing facemasks walk through a street to their school in Peshawar on September 15, 2020. — AFP
Students wearing facemasks walk through a street to their school in Peshawar on September 15, 2020. — AFP 

PESHAWAR: The classes under the afternoon shift in government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa face the risk of suspension as the authorities have failed to pay the teachers for the last four months. 

They said that the teachers have stopped performing their duties owing to the non-payment of salaries. 

The provincial education department started the classes in the second shift in September 2021 to promote education and reduce the dropout ratio. Schools with more than 60% enrolment were included in the second shift programme.

Former education minister Shahram Khan Tarakai had said that another motive behind the launch of this programme was to provide opportunities to the children who were unable to go to schools during the regular time due to different reasons.

The programme was partially suspended in January 2023 as the former government ended the afternoon classes in 167 primary, middle, and higher secondary schools in different districts.

In January 2023, the previous government had also directed the education officers concerned not to demand their salaries.

Currently, 80,000 to 100,000 children are studying in the afternoon classes.

As per the Education Department statistics, a total of 3.2 million children in KP and tribal areas are out of school, while the dropout ratio of girls as compared to boys is greater in the tribal areas as 97% of girls quit schools at the primary level. The primary reason for this is that the girls do not get permission to go to schools in remote areas.

Sources said that as many as 8,000 teachers part of the second shift programme have been deprived of salaries for four months.

However, when asked, the incumbent additional education secretary said that the required funds have been issued and the employees will get their salaries soon.

He said that Rs3.3 million had been released to the relevant deputy commissioners and district education officers.

It will be investigated why the salaries had not yet been paid, he added.