The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has announced that it will increase its allocation for elementary and secondary education by 17 per cent which amounts to Rs.139bil, in the upcoming provincial budget 2017-18.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf seeks to upgrade the education system in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This double as compared to the education budget during the time of ANP’s government which was Rs.61bn.
Not only has the KPK government left all other provinces behind but has set new standards of education in Pakistan. Last year, Punjab cut its education budget for the 9th consecutive year. For the 2016-17 education budget PTI had allocated Rs118bn, whereas as of April 2016, Punjab had only spent Rs14bn of their Rs32.8bn for the development of school education, it goes without saying that this is the reason why education indicators show little progress in Punjab. KP has recently flown of the charts in these indicators. Punjab is a densely populated province, the local government should be spending more on education rather than anything else.
Furthermore, K-P province has also implemented a new teacher hiring system called the National Teaching System (NTS). The need for this system was to overcome the slow process of inducting teachers, which was happening through the Provincial Services Commissions, as there was a dire need for teachers in educational institutes.
Through the NTS, approximately 40,000 teachers have been hired for boys’ and girls’ schools. The PTI government has promised to hire another 15,000 more teachers and that a recorded amount of Rs.800bn has been spent on their training.
Mr. Atif Khan, PTI education minister, blames the previous government for hiring inept teachers saying that it was done on the basis of favoritism and nepotism, which only caused harm to the education system.
He also revealed that the current K-P government instead of removing the existing teachers, has had them trained in the districts and that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the British Council for training a further 83,000 teachers.
A Dawn-Herald study conducted in 2014 showed that Education sector of KPK showed 70% more improvement than last year which was far more than any other province in Pakistan.
In addition, the World Bank in November of last year commended K-P government for being on top among all four federating units of Pakistan for making progress in different areas of human development.
The elementary and secondary education minister claimed that the previous government had established 169 information technology (IT) labs in government schools, while the current government has so far set up 1,369 IT labs in both boys’ and girls’ schools in the province. Furthermore, they merged all the mosque school systems with government schools.
Nonetheless, the province of KPK has a very long way to go, the seeds sowed by the PTI government will take a long time to grow as all human development projects do.