15000 more govt. schools will be needed to accommodate 4.7M out of school students in Pakistan

A few months ago, a survey by Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) shared that 39 percent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's 11.7 million children in the age bracket of 5-16 are out of school, including one million living in merged tribal districts.

ANIUpdated: Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 01:38 PM IST
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ANI

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: A recent study found that Pakistan's Elementary and Secondary Education Department needs to establish over 15,000 additional government schools to enroll 4.7 million out-of-school children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Dawn reported citing E&SE Department sources that the government's internal assessment indicated a need for 15,000 new state schools to enroll the 4.7 million children who are out of school and provide them with the necessary education facilities. A few months ago, a survey by Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) shared that 39 percent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's 11.7 million children in the age bracket of 5-16 are out of school, including one million living in merged tribal districts.

Currently, some 35,000 government schools were functioning in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where 5.5 million children were getting an education, according to an official in the education department.

"It is beyond our financial resources and almost impossible for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to construct 15,000 schools for the out-of-school children," an official said.

The official said that every year the government approved the construction of 300 government schools in the annual budget, including primary, middle and high schools. He said if the government started constructing the required 15,000 schools with the same ratio then it would meet the target in the next 50 years.

He further said that the construction of a six-room building for a primary school would cost ₹30 million on the land given free of cost by the locals, while the cost escalated when there was no land donor.

"The construction of a building for a single government school is completed in a minimum of two years, while sometimes it takes three to four years," he added.

The annual budget for the E&SE department was ₹205 billion, which includes ₹185 billion for salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff and ₹20 billion for the development budget, reported Dawn.

According to the BISP survey, the number of out-of-school girls in the province is 2.9 million, which comes to 53 percent of the total 5.4 million girl population of the same age group, and of the 6.2 million boys, 1.7 million are out of school.

Kolai-Palas district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province topped the list of settled districts with the highest number of 77 percent of children not attending school, Upper Kohistan second with 70 percent and Lower Kohistan third with 69 percent out-of-school children.

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