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LAKKI MARWAT: The district steering committee on education has asked the women district education officer to merge non-functional schools into functional ones and initiate disciplinary proceedings against habitual absent teachers.

The committee met here on Saturday with deputy commissioner Mohammad Bakhtiar Khan in the chair. It took up matters pertaining to absent teaching and non-teaching staff, closed and non-functional schools and proxy teachers, missing facilities and visits to the government schools by Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED) officials during the month of May.

“Several girl schools are non-functional in the district as reported by the Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) data collectors and monitoring assistants,” district monitoring officer Meraj informed the meeting, saying the education authorities (men) made deductions from salary of absent teaching and non-teaching staff while action against teaching and non-teaching employees (women) was awaited.

He disclosed that record pertaining to funds utilisation through parent-teacher councils (PTCs) had not been updated in many schools. He said data about absent employees, closed and non-functional schools and other relevant information had already been shared with ESED authorities to take remedial measures.

“On IMU reports over Rs3 million has so far been recovered from absent primary schoolteachers and class-IV employees through deductions from their salary,” claimed deputy district education officer (DDEO) Sheraz. He said special signboards had been installed outside school buildings carrying details of conditional grant and its utilisation, names and mobile phone numbers of the chairmen and secretaries of the PTCs.

The DDEO said disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against habitual absent employees.

On the occasion, Bakhtiar Khan appreciated the male ESED authorities and directed the district education officer (women) to focus on improving performance of girls schools. “The women education is suffering in the district and the local administration cannot be a silent spectator to the situation,” he maintained.

The DC directed merging non-functional schools into the nearest functional schools and initiating action against absent women teachers and non-teaching employees. He also directed women DEO to ensure fixing signboards girl school buildings carrying details of conditional grant and its utilisation.

Mr Bakhtiar asked district officer (F&P) to pay visits to schools randomly to check utilisation of conditional grant and availability of basic facilities.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2016