PESHAWAR, April 6: A bulk of monthly scholarships for girl students from grade-6 to grade-10 in Kohistan and Torghar districts are likely to lapse as the two remote and backward areas together have only 311 girls enrolled in schools.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had approved 1,250 scholarships for girl students of grade-6 to grade-10 of Torghar district, where presently only 83 students are enrolled.
Similarly, 500 scholarships were approved for Kohistan district, but the number of girl students enrolled there is only 228. The scholarship scheme will continue for five years to promote female education in the two conservative districts.
“There are little chances of promoting girls education in Torghar from primary level onward as there is no middle or high school in the district,” sources in the elementary and secondary education (E&SE) department said.
The previous ANP-led provincial government had introduced a scholarship scheme worth Rs338.37 million in budget 2012-13 for promotion of girls education in Torghar and Kohistan districts over five years.
Under the scheme, Rs1,500 a month will be given to 1,250 girls students from grade-I to grade-5 for five years. On the primary level, 250 students will be selected from each grade on merit. As such, also each second student in the girls primary schools will receive scholarship as the enrolled students in these educational institutions are around 3,000.
Under the scheme, there are 1,750 scholarships each of Rs2,000 for the girls from grade-6 to grade-10 in the two districts. Of this, the share of Torghar is 1,250 and Kohistan 500 scholarships. In Torghar, 250 students will be selected from each grade, and 100 in Kohistan.
The students in Kohistan have been receiving these scholarships since Sept 2012, while the scheme couldn’t be initiated in Torghar due to several problems, including unavailability of bank branches, the sources said.
“The students will receive the scholarships soon as the amount has been shifted to the account of district education office,” said district education officer, Torghar, Hamid Mehmood.
He said that the previous government had sanctioned a high school for girls in Torghar, which would be established soon. About selection of students for the scholarship, he said that as there were only 83 enrolled students and 1,250 scholarships, therefore all the students would get the scholarships.
Answering a question, he said that these students were currently getting education in middle schools for boys, as there was no girls middle school in Torghar.
As the number of girl students in primary schools was double the scholarships so the criteria was 90 per cent attendance and qualifying a simple test, said Mr Mehmood.
In Kohistan, all the 228 enrolled students in middle and high schools have been receiving Rs2,000 per month because scholarships for them were 500, said DEO Mansehra Khan Mohammad, who also looks after the education affairs of Kohistan.
Sources said that there were 13 middle and two high schools for girls in Kohistan. Of the 13 middle schools, seven are lying closed since long and four schools established in such areas where there is no primary school. As such the admission rate in grade-6 is next to nil.
In the government girls high schools of Dasu and Betera, 82 and 45 students are enrolled, respectively, said Khan Mohammad.