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MANSEHRA: Alif Ailaan, a nongovernmental organisation, has launched a campaign in the remote union councils of Mansehra district to bring 7,366 out-of-school children to schools during a two-month enrolment campaign starting today (Wednesday).

The District Parent Ittehad (DPI) for education formed by the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) will supervise the campaign in eight union councils, including Balakot, Bogermung, Shuhal Mazullah, Ghanool, Kaghan, Pairan, Behali and Hilkot.

The decision in this respect was made during the meeting of DPI which was attended by representatives of social organisations and educationists.

The education officials, including district education officer (male), didn’t attend the meeting.

Another NGO, Dia Welfare Organisation, announced it would provide missing facilities to 500 schools in targeted union councils.

7,366 out-of-school children in Mansehra to be targeted

“The boundary walls, water, lavatories, desks and benches facilities, which are missing and identified by volunteers in respective union councils, will be provided by Dia Welfare Organisation,” SRSP regional manager Shakeel Ahmad said on the occasion.

He said quality education in remote and backward eight targeted union councils of the district and taking out-of-school children to schools was the main objective of the forum.

He said all segments of society would be mobilised for the enrolment of children in schools.

“We want to see every child in school. The campaign will be taken to every hamlet and house in the targeted union councils,” he said.

Shakeel said the SRSP had already compiled particulars of out-of-school children, who totaled 7,366, including 4,052 girls, in the targeted union councils.

He said the help of clerics would also be sought for the enrolment campaign as they had a great influence over the society.

The SRSP manager said the enrolment drive would begin on April 1 and continue until the end of May this year.

He said public awareness walks at union council and district levels would be staged to highlight importance of education, especially enrolment of out-of-school children in schools.

Mohammad Bashir, the head teacher at Government Primary School Basala, said he recently launched a pilot class of minor children of three years at his school due to the government’s ban on education of children of that age.

“The model class will pave the way for the establishment of more schools in remote and far-off villages to enrol small children before they reach school going age,” he said.

Alif Ailaan programme coordinator Mohammad Shaukat said interactive sessions would be organised for parents and education officials to ensure provision of quality education to children.

He said the District Parent Ittehad for education would monitor the two-month campaign and ensure that those brought to schools continue studies.

District education officer (female) Lughmani Sardar, who was also in attendance, said the parents not sending children to schools should be dealt with strictly.

She said 34 female primary teachers were recently dismissed from service over bogus appointments.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2015

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