The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has said his government introduced a policy of reward and punishment based on performance that resulted into the increase in enrolment in the schools, presence of teachers and quality of education in the province. His government constructed and covered the missing facilities in the schools and simultaneously launched mandatory training courses for the teachers. In the past, punishment to the teacher was there but there was no reward therefore his government started awarding best performing principals, headmasters and teachers in 2014 with an amount of Rs. 55 million. Next year, the same award was given to 4800 teachers in order to improve the performance of teachers that resulted into the increase in enrolment, good result of students and presence of teachers and students in the schools, he added.
He was addressing the Inaugural ceremony of Best Performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers Incentive Awards at Chief Minister House Peshawar. Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly Mehar Taj Roghani, Provincial Ministers Muhammad Atif Khan, Qalandar Lodhi, Advisors to Chief Minister Abdul Muneem Khan, Shakeel Khan, members of the National and Provincial Assemblies and a large number of teachers turned up to attend the ceremony.
Chief Minister said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf has always held that education is the most important goal to be pursued. We believe in investments in an educated and skilled population, particularly the youth. A young person who can find a job or start his own business with the help of education, will always be full of hope and positivity, keep away from the dark thoughts of militancy and extremism and will always contribute positively to society and the economy and help take the country forward, he added.
Pervez Khattak was of the view “we need to pause and ask ourselves: does providing physical infrastructure alone improve the standard of education? I am afraid there is more to it than merely “brick and mortar”. We need textbooks that are appropriate and up to date. We need an examination system that encourages free and creative thinking rather than rote-learning. We need to eliminate cheating and unfair means and most important of all, we need better teachers and better teaching! Teachers that are selected from the best lot”. “Teachers who know how to teach effectively. Teachers who are WILLING to teach”, he added. He said in addition to providing physical infrastructure, 35,000 more competent teachers had been recruited through a merit-based, impartial and unbiased process. Our government is now focusing sharply on the improvement of the quality of education. “Our efforts are now centered around what goes on inside a classroom, between a teacher and the students. The standard of education provided by government schools must improve”, he added.
Chief Minister said school buildings were never complete without adequate classrooms, bathrooms, electricity and drinking water. Schools with all such facilities attract students to enroll for an education and help to keep them interested in education that was the main reason his government built new schools and upgraded existing ones by investing billions of rupees. His government provided missing infrastructure in 20,000 schools by involving communities and parents in the construction of missing facilities thus spending the highest percentage of the budget on education among all provinces, he added.
Pervez Khattak said that societies lacking durable system of education cannot survive. The absence of education creates space for wrongs in the society. Unfortunately “we inherited a weak educational system that failed to respond to the challenges of the present day” adding in the past, system was used by those in power. They mercilessly used institutions for their own motives and they did nothing for the nation. Class based education system protected the interest of the haves and the have-nots were at the receiving end, he argued. He said civilized nations always give priority to education because education civilizes the people and this civilization becomes the launching pad for the development of nations. His government introduced uniform education system and made legislation to teach Nazira and Quran along with translation in all schools of the province.
He said bringing to school those children who are forced by circumstances to work in the fields, streets, homes and workshops was also part of his broader policy for education. Large number of children either never enroll in schools or drop out too early, particularly girls therefore his government in the province conducted a census exclusively focusing on out-of-school-children to know the location of each out-of-school-child and the reason of being out of school. He assured his government will arrange funds to bring these girls and boys to schools adding the government would provide conditions to make education attractive and accessible for them and their parents. He said the government would provide conditions to made education attractive and accessible for them and their parents and build schools where none exist and would provide free books when none can be bought. No child in Pakistan should remain deprived of quality education that was the collective goal being proved, he added.
He said aiming high is good but it requires creative thinking, hard work, and it requires money. The current phase of the Education Sector Plan of the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2015-2020 not only lays down the direction and priorities, but it also lays down a practical and realistic roadmap for us outlining the financial resources required to achieve the goals that we are all jointly pursuing.
Chief Minister underlined the need to commit collective services, share ideas, experiences and jointly plan to meet the future challenges in education sector. Sketching out the essence behind the best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers incentive Program, he said the next priority, is awarding best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers among the lot. This is the First Time ever initiative started in 2014 in KP to motivate the teachers adding that cash awards distributed, worth Rs 55 Million in 2014-15, Rs. 110 Million in 2015-16 and Rs. 110 Million in 2016-17 to 4800 best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers, he added. In the year 2014-15 allocation was Rs 55 Million to 960 best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers of 120 schools. In the year 2015-16 & 2016-17 allocation was double to the tune of Rs. 110 Million to 1920 of 240 schools best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers in each year and in the CFY 2017-18 Rs. 110 Million is allocated to provide Cash Awards Million to 1920 best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers of 240 schools. He said criteria for the selection of best performing Principals, Head Masters and Teachers is Increase in enrollments, better results in SSC exams, participation rate in SSC Exams, improved teachers/students attendance, he added.