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March 3, 2015

Strict action improves Battagram schools working


March 3, 2015

BATTAGRAM: Strict action and consistent visits of the district administration to different schools in the remote areas of Battagram district has helped overcome the issue of closed schools, teachers’ absenteeism and proxy teachers, especially the women teachers.
“The top officials of the district administration including the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioners conducted 127 visits to different schools in the last two months and on the spot action was taken against absent and proxy teachers as well as other staff members. All closed schools were re-opened,” a senior official in the district administration told The News.
More than 20 schools out of 798 in Battagram were closed, and these were re-opened. Action was taken against those responsible for the closure of schools. Explanation was sought from around 200 teachers, showcause notices were served on some 450 teachers, around a dozen were suspended, salaries of 25 were stopped and deduction was made from 172 others, according to the data collected from the executive director education office.
Battagram is considered one of the less developed districts in the province with regard to education. The district has 598 primary, middle and secondary schools including 550 for boys and 248 for girls. The total enrollment is 62,608 including 46,052 boys and16,556 girls.
Some schools are closed due to lack of staff and others on account of low enrollment. Some of the schools have been established on the land owned by the influential people, who use the educational institutions for personal purposes instead of educational activities.
The state of girls’ education is even worse. The provincial government has announced special incentives for the woman teachers and girl students in the district, but instead of serving the actual purpose the incentives attracted proxy teachers and fake enrollment.
The educated women teachers belonging to influential families send other women for performing

duty in their place. Also, fake enrollment is made in the schools to get the benefits meant for girl students.
Deputy Commissioner, Battagram, Zariful Maani told The News that promotion of education was his top priority and he was taking personal interest in rectifying the sorry state of affairs. He said he has been paying surprise visits to schools to check the situation and take on the spot action.
He said the situation in the last two months has improved to a great extent due to administrative measures. “The issue of proxy teachers has almost been resolved and the actual teachers have started performing duty. The policy of ‘zero tolerance’ has been adopted for the lethargic teachers and non-teaching staff,” he stressed.
The deputy commissioner was also concerned about the quality of education. He said they would soon arrange subject test for the teachers and develop training courses so that the quality of education could be improved. He said the district administration with the support of local traders and well-off people arranged special classes for selected students of the government schools to enable them to pass the examinations without cheating and get position in the board. The official said these classes recently concluded and more than 100 students were provided free boarding and lodging.
Zariful Maani said Parent Teachers Councils were also being made in all the schools to keep check on the academic activities. He said the district administration has also announced rewards for the best performing teachers.

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