PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court was informed on Wednesday that the elementary and secondary education department has initiated action against the headmasters of government schools showing poor results in the annual secondary school certificate examinations.
A bench consisting of Justice Qaisar Rasheed and Justice Ijaz Anwar expressed dissatisfaction with the report submitted by the education department on the affairs of schools, including exam results and missing facilities,and sought a detailed report.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Society for Access to Quality Education,a nongovernmental organisation,demanding the provincial government take steps to enrol the out-of-school children.
Lawyer Haider Imtiaz appeared for the petitioner in the case.
Under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules, 1973, the headmasters face denial of promotion and salary increment, and demotion over poor exam results of their respective schools.
Additional secretary of the educational and secondary education department Arshad Khan produced the education department’s report, which states that show cause notices have been issued to 184 headmasters of the high and higher secondary schools for showing poor results in the recent secondary school certificate examinations.
The bench observed that it had sought a detailed report from the education department on the school-related affairs but ironically, it had produced scanty data only.
According to the department’s report, the relevant headmasters have been asked to explain reasons for unsatisfactory SSC exam results of the students of their respective schools.
The court was informed that 77 percent of government schools and 89 percent of private schools in the province showed 100 percent pass rate in SSC exams.
The department also claimed that over 1.5 million children of school age didn’t go to the centres of formal education for various reasons.
Of them, one million are girls and 0.5 million boys. Among the out-of-school children are Afghan refugees, too.
About the missing facilities, the report revealed that 28 percent of government schools in the province didn’t have electric supply, while there was no supply of drinking water to 19 percent of schools.
Also, seven percent of the government schools in the province have no washrooms, while six percent of schools were without boundary wall.
The petitioner’s lawyer informed the court that the education department claimed that a large number of students had quit private schools to enrol themselves in government ones, but the poor SSC exam of the latter belied the claim as the private schools fared far better than their government contemporaries in the recent annual exams.
Rejecting the report of the education department, the bench ordered all district education officers to produce detailed report of the school-related affairs from their respective districts.
It also asked the elementary and secondary education department to take measures for providing the maximum facilities to schoolchildren in the province.
The court directed the education department to take efforts for making the government schools attractive for children.
Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017