PESHAWAR: Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation (ESEF) will establish 1,000 more girls community schools in the upcoming academic year to enrol out of school children in the targeted areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The announcement was made at the launching ceremony of the annual performance report of ESEF. The event was attended by the students of community schools and their parents.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Shahram Khan Tarakai was chief guest on the occasion. The ceremony was also addressed by Education Secretary Mutasim Billah and ESEF Managing Director Zariful Maani.

Talking to Dawn, Zariful Maani said that ESEF would set up schools in those localities where there was no government school at a distance of 500 meters in hilly areas and one kilometre in the plan areas. “Though the schools are for girls, yet in many of such schools the foundation has enrolled boys also because of the non-availability of schools for them,” he said.

ESEF schools to be upgraded to middle and high levels in two years

He said that so far such schools provided education up to primary level, however, the foundation would also start setting up meddle and high schools on that pattern in the next two years.

Some success stories of the brilliant passed out students of the community schools were played on the big screen and the students were awarded medals and shields at the ceremony.

Presenting the report, Mr Maani shed light on the performance of the foundation. The foundation produced exemplary results during the past one year. He said that a total of 2,219 community schools were operating in 26 districts of the province and the number would cross the figure of 3,000 with the establishment of 1,000 more such schools. He said that 500 community schools were set up in year 2021.

Mr Maani said that 154,650 students were enrolled in the community schools where 3,172 teachers were imparting education to them.

He said that the foundation cleared the outstanding salaries worth Rs850 million during the past one year. He said that the salary of community schoolteachers was raised from Rs15,000 to Rs21,000. The salaries of the teachers would be further increased on the basis of qualification and performance, he added.

Mr Maani said that complete digitalisation of ESEF was another milestone achievement of the foundation to ensure transparency. Digital profiling of 3,000 teachers and 145,000 students have been completed while online attendance of 130,000 students are ensured on daily basis.

Addressing the function, Shahram Khan Tarkai said that the foundation was set up to enrol out of school children in areas where formal government schools were not available.

He paid appreciated to the efforts of Zariful Maani and said that after his appointment the performance of the foundation improved greatly.

Mr Tarkai said that in view of the excellent performance of the foundation, the talented students of its schools were included in the scholarship programmes run by the provincial government.

He said that the students of the foundation schools were enrolling on merit for higher education in various educational institutions.

He said that from the next year, the government would upgrade the schools of the foundation to middle and high level where education would be imparted to students from sixth grade onwards.

The minister said that due to digitalisation of the entire system of the foundation, now all its data was available online. “Thanks to the excellent performance, more than Rs2,200 million budget has been released while this year also a budget of one billion rupees has been allocated to the foundation,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2022

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