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Young drummers welcome the newly enrolled students at a girls school in Mingora on Thursday. (Below) MPA Nadia Sher Khan enrolling a girl. — Dawn
Young drummers welcome the newly enrolled students at a girls school in Mingora on Thursday. (Below) MPA Nadia Sher Khan enrolling a girl. — Dawn

MINGORA: Teachers and education department officials at the launching ceremony of a campaign to increase enrolment have said that they expect enrolment of a big number of children in schools with special focus on girls in Swat.

The ceremony was organised at Government Girls High School No 2, Saidu Sharif, on Thursday by the provincial education department in collaboration with Alif Ailaan, Innovative Youth Forum, NCHD and Aurat Foundation. The event was presided over by parliamentary secretary of population welfare MPA Nadia Sher Khan and attended by district education officer (female), teachers and civil society members.

Dr Jawad Iqbal, an education activist, said that Swat was among the five worst performing districts in girls enrolment. “In comparison to 39,292 boys enrolment this year, only 15,000 girls have been enrolled which is of great concern. Apart from teachers and parents it is the responsibility of politicians to take part in the enrolment campaign,” he said.

He recalled that in 2013 Swat was on top in KP to enrol girls in schools.

Enrolment drive launched in Swat

“Until every child goes to school, our country cannot get on track of development and prosperity. For brighter future of Pakistan the parents must allow girls to get education, “said students Gulalai and Salva.

The participants said that the biggest challenge was to bring girls of far-flung rural areas to schools.

“Sincerity of teachers plays a key role in increasing enrolment and retaining students in schools. We not only have to bring children to the school, but also have to retain and educate them to the last,” said Iffat Nasir, principal of a girls school.

NCHD representative Tahir Rahman said that it was the collective responsibility of the society to extend help in the campaign.

“Low standard of education, lack of skills and boring environment cause the dropouts of children in schools,” said Bilawal Jamshed, head of the youth forum. DEO Shamim Akhtar said that the provincial government was spending huge funds in the education sector.

“Of the 511 primary school teachers required in Swat, 374 have already been approved, while the remaining posts will be filled this year. In the April enrolment drive we have almost achieved our target and enrolled 17,840 girls,” she claimed.

Nadia Sher assured the educationists that the government would support them in their endeavours for promotion of education. She said that the education sector had faced great loss during the militancy and the girls education was the most affected. She also enrolled a child by filling and signing her admission form.

Girls students of different schools on this occasion performed skits and national songs, highlighting the importance of education for girls.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2015

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