PESHAWAR: The Elementary Education Foundation (EEF), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is set to launch accelerated learning programme from September for out-of-school children in the province.

Initially, the programme would be launched in seven or eight districts to be selected on the basis of having bigger number of out-of-school children, said EEF managing director Zulfiqar Ahmed.

According to a survey conducted by the Elementary and Secondary Education Department, over 1.8 million children are out of school in the province. Of them, 64 per cent are girls and 36 per cent boys. The survey shows that nearly every fourth child is not going to school.

Education foundation MD puts the number of such children in KP at 1.8 million

The causes of the children being out of school are stated to be lack of interest, poverty and absence of schools. The out-of-school children in the province are 23 per cent of the total population of children between five and 17 years of age.

Mr Ahmed told Dawn that initially the accelerated learning programme would be for the classes of 6th, 7th and 8th. He said that a condensed curricula and syllabus had been designed for these three classes to be taught in 18 months.

He said that the course for the primary classes from grade-1 to grade-5 had been designed in such a manner that its duration had been reduced to three years from the existing five. The accelerated learning programme at the primary level would be launched from the next academic year 2019-20, he said.

The EEF would introduce books prepared in the light of condensed curricula and syllabus for the accelerated learning programme with the approval of the Directorate of Curricula and Teachers Training, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the districts where this programme would be launched had not been decided yet.

Asked whether the programme would be launched in the buildings of government or private schools, the EEF managing director said that it would be decided within next two weeks.

However, he said, EEF had already been running a voucher scheme in the private schools where the government was supporting education of the poor students in the areas where there was no government school. “We are thinking to also launch the accelerated learning programme in the buildings of private schools,” he said.

Mr Ahmed said that an amount of Rs297 million had been allocated for the academic year 2018-19. He said that the UK’s Department for International Development, Unicef, Unesco and Japan International Cooperation Agency were supporting the EEF financially and technically in implementation of the programme.

According to the survey, of the 1.8 million out-of-school children, a total of 1.15 million (64pc) are reported as ‘never enrolled’ and 0.648 million (36pc) as ‘previously enrolled’ or dropped out. Both these incidences are substantially higher for girls than boys, he said.

A total of 4.52 million households were surveyed under the plan in 25 districts of the province.

According to the figures, the Abbottabad district has the highest enrolment statistics in the province, followed by Haripur, while Malakand and Chitral districts jointly occupy the next place. Shangla and Torghar districts, respectively, are at the bottom of the list.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2018

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