PESHAWAR, Sept 14: Some key positions at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board are lying vacant adversely affecting the board’s functioning, it is learnt.

Some blame these vacancies for mistakes in the textbooks.

The board has a chairman, two members and seven subject specialists.

However, the posts of a member (BPS-19) and five subject specialists (BPS-18) are vacant.

Most posts have been lying vacant for around a year, according to sources in the board.

Sources said subject specialists were responsible for all procedures carried out for printing the relevant books.

They said only the positions of subject specialists of Urdu and general group were filled, while those of English, Pashto, Islamiat, Science and Mathematics subject specialists were vacant.

The sources said one post of a member, who was to head the board’s review section, was lying vacant.

They said some proofreaders were engaged for reviewing textbooks due to unavailability of subject specialists.

The sources said in absence of subject specialist for Pashto, the duty to review Pashto books from BPS-1 to BPS-12 was being done by two proofreaders, who had done a master’s degree in Pashto literature.

They said similarly, another proofreader having a master’s degree in English literature had been used for review of English textbooks.

The sources said it was illegal for proofreaders to review books as they were not recognised subject specialists.

They said as posts of subject specialists were vacant, senior officials of the board were using personal rapport with university and college professors to get textbooks reviewed before printing.

The sources said recently, the textbook board drew criticism for many mistakes in textbooks to the embarrassment of the elementary and secondary education department overseeing it.

An official at the department said: “You cannot rule out mistakes in the books when the relevant subject specialists are unavailable for their review.”

He said presence of subject specialists on the board were very necessary during these days as textbooks were in the developing stage.

The official asked who would point out mistakes in textbooks if the people having expertise for it were not there.

When contacted, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board Chairman Dr Himayatullah said the posts of some subject specialists fell vacant after the incumbents completed term in office or were sent back to parent departments on completion of deputation.

He said subject specialists in the board were drawn from government colleges and schools on deputation.

Dr Himayatullah said he had taken up the matter of vacancies with the education officials concerned and was hopeful that the vacant posts would be filled soon.

He said in absence of subject specialists, textbooks were reviewed by assistant subject specialists, who were permanent employees of the board.

Talking to Dawn, Elementary and Secondary Education Secretary Jaudat Ayaz said he had learned about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board vacancies during a meeting recently.

He said the education department would try to fill the vacant posts at the earliest.

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