No work but teacher training institutes in KP eat up Rs1bn

Updated November 07, 2019

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 21 regional institutes for teacher education have eaten up around Rs1 billion during the last two years despite an end to its only job of pre-service teacher training in 2016. — Creative Commons/File
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 21 regional institutes for teacher education have eaten up around Rs1 billion during the last two years despite an end to its only job of pre-service teacher training in 2016. — Creative Commons/File

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 21 regional institutes for teacher education have eaten up around Rs1 billion during the last two years despite an end to its only job of pre-service teacher training in 2016.

The government had done away with the condition of RITE training for appointment as teacher in 2016 but over 600 employees of the institutes continue to draw salary, sources told Dawn.

They said 300 of those employees held BPS 17-20 positions.

The sources said after the abolition of the pre-service training, the government had appointed untrained teachers and provided them with training thereafter.

They said the RITEs used to offer two-year training in associate degree in education (ADE) and one year in drawing master, while their annual salary and non-salary budget totaled around Rs500 million.

CM adviser says RITEs to be abolished

The sources said since the condition of professional degrees in teaching was not necessary for the teachers’ appointment, the elementary and secondary education department had decided to abolish the RITEs considering them to be a burden on kitty.

They said the Provincial Institute for Teacher Education (PITE) provided the required on-job training to teachers.

“All staff members come to the institute just for marking attendance as they have no duty to perform,” one of the RITE heads told Dawn. He said as directed by the elementary and secondary education department, the RITEs had stopped enrolling candidates for training since 2017.

“We have no training programme and often learn from newspapers that the government is going to abolish RITEs,” he said.

The elementary and secondary education department had moved a summary to the provincial restructuring committee some seven months ago for approval to abolish RITEs with valid reasons, sources said.

They said the restructuring committee had failed to take up the issue to stop the waste of taxpayers’ money.

The sources said some influential heads of RITEs having political background had approached the authorities at the helm of affairs to stop it just to take salary without performing duty.

They said the RITE heads had also approached the chief minister through many members of the provincial assembly against the abolition of RITEs.

The sources said the abolition of RITEs would not deprive their employees of job as they were teachers and clerks of the education department working there as part of the department and that they all would be transferred to schools.

When contacted, adviser to the chief minister on elementary and secondary education department Ziaullah Bangash said after the abolition of the condition to have professional degrees in teaching for the appointment, the existence of RITEs had no logic.

“We are going to establish institutions at divisional level of the province to provide post-service training after abolishing RITEs,” he said.

The adviser said millions of rupees would be saved to the provincial exchequer with the abolishment of RITEs.

He said teachers working in RITEs would be deployed at schools which were already short of teachers.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2019