The record migration of over 151,000 students from private to Government schools and 3.4pc increase in enrolment of students in 2017 shows positive shift in the education landscape of KP. Given the various policy changes and interventions of Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED), there has been an improvement in out of school children. Estimates by Alif Ailaan stated 2.5 million out of school children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which have now been brought down to 1.6 million children. This is according to the latest Out of School Children (OOSC) survey by the education department and this is no small achievement.
Several improvements in teacher training and school facilities can be credited for this positive change. The ESED is also seriously tackling corporal punishment in schools in KP. Even before the approval of anti-corporal punishment law in, a vigorous anti-corporal punishment media campaign by the ESED has been put in place. Due to the zero tolerance policy of ESED, there has been a push back against teachers who punish students harshly. The draft law is at the law department for vetting. The ESED has constantly pushed messaging to convey that there is a zero tolerance policy on punishing students in schools. The ESED has also established a complaint redressal and response mechanism through a hotline number 0800-33857.
There is also a focus on delivery of education through technology. Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) is collecting data from schools all across the province since 2014 and has resulted in reduction of absenteeism by 11pc. Introduction of Online Action Management System (OAMS) has proven effective in reducing absenteeism and bad behaviour among teachers. So far Rs. 90 million has been recovered from absent teachers. Collecting data on teacher behaviour in class through regular feedback allows identification of risk much earlier.
The Minister of Education KP has identified that when polled, parents and the community identified that the reason their children were not sent to school was because of missing facilities in schools – about 17pc of them identified this as a key problem. As a result of this research, ESED has spent over 29 billion on the provision of missing facilities and ensured that parents can safely send their children to school, particularly their daughters.
An estimated 24,000 schools can be impacted through this intervention. With missing facilities being upgraded, girls are impacted the most and tend to go back to school. The government has also spent 7 billion to provide furniture to schools across KP. Some independent reports such as ASER report an increase in out of school children in KP. The ESED finds the ASER report 2016 dated.