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March 16, 2015

52 girls’ schools lying closed in Karak


March 16, 2015

PESHAWAR: The officials of the Education Department in Karak district kept the provincial government in the dark about the closure of more than 52 state-run girls’ schools in the annual progress report sent to the authorities, sources said here on Sunday.
The sources said the Karak education authorities did not affix some pages to the annual progress report concealing information about the nonfunctional schools in the district.The sources said the officials of the Education Department prepared an annual progress report for provincial Minister for Education Muhammad Atif Khan in which they deliberately kept the authorities in the dark about the closure of 52 schools in the district.
The sources said the Sub-Divisional Education Officer (female) in Takht-i-Nasrati tehsil Shahnaz Khattak had given free hand to female teachers whether to perform duty or stay at home. This information had not been included in the progress report submitted to provincial officials.
The source said the original progress report contained information about the duty timing of the teachers, attendance and education ratio and closure of the 52 girls’ primary schools, including 20 schools in Shnawa Gudikhel, 10 in Latamber and 22 in Banda Daudshah tehsil. The pages containing this information were removed from the report forwarded to the provincial government.
In the annual report, provincial minister was also informed about the absenteeism by nearly 65 percent female teachers in the schools in Shnawa Gudikhel due to which 85 percent of girl students were forced to quit their education and 15 percent were enrolled in the boys’ schools.
The sources said it was also mentioned in the report that the Sub-Divisional Officer (female) in Takhti-i-Nasrati was allegedly involved in taking gifts from the teachers in case of shortage in attendance and other official activities.
When contacted, the SDEO (F) Shahnaz Khattak said that there were some problems with the schools in

Shnawa Gudikhel area as most had been established in close proximity and there was low or zero enrolment in those schools.
“We hold regular monthly meeting at the office of the deputy commissioner and education officials to make strategy to increase the enrolment at the schools,” she added.She claimed that people would threaten to block the roads or would go to the media to blackmail the officials whenever the latter refused to do an illegal job for them.
Meanwhile, SDEO (M) Takht-i-Nasrati tehsil, Haleemullah Khattak said that all boys’ schools with a few exceptions had been functioning properly.He said a schoolteacher Muhammad Arif was shot dead last year over a minor dispute during duty hours at the Government Primary School in Koh-i-Maidan where only eight students were enrolled.
He said the school remained closed since the incident occurred and the rivals were not allowing any teacher to join the school.Another official, pleading anonymity, told The News that the introduction of the monitoring unit in the education department by the provincial government had a great impact on the performance and efficiency of the state-run schools.
He said 90 percent improvement had been recorded in the education system in Karak district after the introduction of the monitoring system.Regarding the closure of the 52 schools, he clarified that these schools were not closed but partially non-functional due to zero enrolment.
He suggested the only solution to resolve the issue was that the government should merge two to three schools in the Shnawa Gudikhel area as the landlords who donated land for the establishment of the schools were no more interested to improve the enrolment at these schools. He said the district administration had issued warning to them to follow the directives otherwise clubbing of schools would be done.

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