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Report sought from govt on ‘ghost’ schools, students

Updated April 18, 2019

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The PHC  orders concrete steps for enrolment of children. — File Photo courtesy of Shameen Khan
The PHC orders concrete steps for enrolment of children. — File Photo courtesy of Shameen Khan

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday directed adviser to chief minister on elementary and secondary education to submit a detailed report on the issue of alleged presence of ‘ghost schools and ghost students’ under a government scheme launched by Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation (ESEF).

The bench of PHC Justice Qaiser Rasheed and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar Khan directed the adviser to chief minister, Ziaullah Bangash, who appeared on a court notice, that concrete steps should be taken for enrolment of out-of-school children.

The bench has taken suo moto notice of certain news items wherein it was alleged that there was alarming number of ghost students as well as ghost schools in different districts of the province. Under the Iqra Farogh-i-Taleem Voucher Scheme (IFTVS), the provincial government had allegedly been funding ghost schools and students without proper audit.

Court orders concrete steps for enrolment of children

The adviser informed the court that provincial government was paying attention to education sector and it also started special campaigns for enrolment of out-of school-children.

He stated that about the ghost schools responsibility was assigned to the then managing director of ESEF, but his performance was not up to the task.

Justice Qaiser Rasheed inquired about the qualification and salary of the managing director. The secretary of elementary and secondary education, Arshad Khan, said that the managing director was a graduate and was drawing Rs500,000 salary per month.

The bench expressed astonishment as to how a graduate was appointed against such an important post and why he was given such a high salary. The bench observed that it was incapability of the government to appoint only a graduate on that post.

Justice Qaiser Rasheed directed the adviser and secretary that the campaign launched for enrolment of out-of-school-children should not be cosmetic and should yield positive results.

REPLY: A bench of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ijaz Anwar sought replies from federal and provincial governments in a writ petition filed by a social activist Sana Ijaz, challenging placement of her name on Exit Control List (ECL).

The bench directed an additional attorney general, Manzoor Khalil, and an additional advocate general, Qaiser Ali Shah, to file replies till Thursday (today).

Advocate Fazal Ilahi represented the petitioner and said that his client was a social activist and was named in two FIRs in different cities that were registered against different leaders of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM).

He stated that only mentioning of her name in an FIR was not a justification for including her name on ECL. He said that the petitioner was having a visa of UK and had to go there to attend a family function on April 21. However, he added, she came to know that her name was on ECL.

The counsel said that recently the high court had declared as illegal placement of name of another PTM leader Dr Said Alam Mehsud on ECL.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019