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MARDAN: The government is empowering the parent-teacher councils to improve standard of education at schools and colleges, said elementary and secondary education minister Atif Khan on Tuesday.

He was speaking during a convention of teachers and parents of the government’s schoolchildren here.

The event was organised by NGO Alif Ailaan at the Government Higher Secondary School No 4, Shah Dhand Baba, Par Hoti.

In attendance were additional secretary education Qaisar Alam, district education officer (male) Siraj Mohammad, district education officer (female) Samina Ghani, Alif Ailaan district coordinator Sajjad Ahmad, and students, teachers, parents and notables.

Minister says 15,000 schoolteachers to be recruited in one year

The minister said the successive government deliberately ignored the education sector, especially the development of schools and colleges, to keep the poor people backward.

He said the empowerment of the PTCs was meant to make the educational system in the province more result-oriented and fruitful.

“We have increased the PTC funds from Rs1 million to Rs3 million each to ensure completion of projects in their respective educational institutions,” he said.

The minister said the department had re-opened around 500 schools closed for years, while 40,000 teachers had been employed on merit.

He added that 15,000 more teachers would be recruited in the next one year.

“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the British Council for the training of 83,000 government teachers in the subjects of English, Mathematics and Science to help them impart quality education to students,” he said.

The minister said corruption was the root cause of poverty and therefore, the government was committed to eradicating the menace from society.

He said the government had got the Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Bill approved from the provincial assembly to make government departments corruption-free.

“Under the new law, whistleblowers will get 30 percent of the recovered ill-gotten money as reward. However, he or she will be fined and imprisoned if the corruption charge is proved false,” he said.

Some speakers accused some PTC members of being involved in misuse and embezzlement of funds and demanded strict action against them.

Published in Dawn September 21st, 2016