PESHAWAR, Dec 7: The Awami National Party-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday claimed that it had raised literacy rate in the province by seven per cent during its four and a half years rule.

Briefing media persons about his ministry’s achievements here at Civil Officers Mess on Friday, Provincial Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Sardar Babak said that 29,000 teachers had been recruited in government schools in their tenure so far. He said that seven per cent literacy had been increased during this time, while overall literacy rate stood at 56 per cent.

He said that currently male literacy rate stood at 74 per cent and female literacy rate at 38 per cent.

On the occasion, Provincial Minister for Higher Education Department Qazi Asad also highlighted achievements of his department. Information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and high ups of the higher education department and E&SE department were also present at the briefing.

Mr Asad said that the sitting government had almost doubled the number of colleges and universities in the province during its over four years rule. He said that successive governments had established 11 universities in 61 years in the province, while the present government set up eight universities during its tenure while the ninth one was under consideration.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coalition government has decided to apprise masses about different initiatives it had undertaken during its tenure.

In this connection, ministers and secretaries of all departments would come one by one before the media and give information about the government’s achievements.

Mr Asad said that before 2008 there were 137 government colleges in the province, including 46 for girls, while the incumbent government had constructed 29 colleges, including 15 for girls. He said that another 72 colleges, including 46 for girls, were under construction.

The government has increased the development budget from Rs1.31 billion in 2007-08 to Rs5.06 billion for colleges and Rs1.51 billion for universities in 2012-13, he said.

The minister said that the number of enrolled students in colleges had increased from 99,422 in 2007-08 to 149,933 in 2012-13, while the number of teachers had also grown from 4,020 to 5,506.

He said that Rs100 million had been allocated in ADP 2012-13 for establishment of autonomous Education Services Academy and Rs60 million for teachers training.

He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province which had initiated training for college teachers, linking training with the promotion of teachers besides launching pre-service training.

Mr Asad said that the ANP-led government had established six libraries at a cost of Rs266 million in Haripur, Swat, Timergara, Lakki Marwat, Kohat and Chitral.

He said that four-year Bachelor of Studies (BS) programme was introduced by the present government in 60 government colleges. Other achievements included laptop scheme, daycare centers in girl’s colleges and transport facility for female college teachers.

Minister for E&SE Sardar Babak said that 2,958 schools were damaged in 2005 earthquake of which 1,554 had been rebuilt while 754 schools were under construction. He said that of 750 schools damaged in bomb blasts 555 had been rebuilt while 195 were under construction.

He said that of 1,694 schools damaged in 2010 floods 589 had been rebuilt and 231 were under construction. He said that construction work on the remaining 874 damaged schools had not yet started.

The E&SE minister said that the present government had established 625 new primary schools, and upgraded 635 primary schools to middle and 325 schools to high and higher secondary levels.

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