PESHAWAR, Jan 16: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will utilise Rs600 million through parent-teacher councils to provide basic facilities to state-run schools in six districts of the province, according to officials.

After successful execution of ‘conditional grant project for improving basic facilities at government primary schools for girls’ in two backward districts Buner and Dera Ismail Khan, the scheme has been extended to four other districts including Karak, Nowshera, Haripur and Lakki Marwat.

Officials said that parent-teacher councils (PTCs) completed more work than the target set to them by the elementary and secondary education department during the pilot project launched in 2011 in Buner and Dera Ismail Khan. They said that the two districts were selected for the pilot project on the basis of low literacy rate and poor social and economic indications. They said that for the pilot project 201 government primary schools for girls -- 103 in D.I. Khan and 98 in Buner -- were selected for providing basic facilities.

PTC, a body at school level that consists of parents of the enrolled students, elders of the areas and administration of the respective school, carries out petty construction and minor civil work and purchases furniture, classroom items, laboratory equipment and gardening tools for the educational institution.

“Now the conditional grant project has been scaled up in Buner and D.I. Khan by including middle, high and higher secondary schools for girls and primary schools for boys in it,” officials said. Earlier only primary schools for girls were included in the project in the two districts. However, officials said that only primary schools for girls would be focused in the project extended to four more districts. An amount of Rs600 million would be utilised on construction of 416 additional classrooms, 247 group latrines, 129 boundary walls, 327 water supplies schemes and provision of electricity in 152 schools, officials said.

“The first tranche of Rs294.732 million has already been released to the respective districts. In this connection, a meeting of the respective district education officers and other relevant people has been convened on January 18,” officials said. The purpose of the meeting is to maintain quality of construction work and complete it as soon as possible.

Officials said that with provision of basic facilities in government schools, enrolment of students would be increased and quality of education improved. Basic reason of dropout of students was lack of facilities in government schools, they added.

For execution of the project, PTC has already been empowered to utilise Rs1 million funds for providing facilities to the schools.

According to evaluation of pilot project in Buner and D.I. Khan, PTCs had constructed each classroom at a cost of from Rs0.4 million to Rs0.6 million while the works and services department constructed the same room at a cost of Rs1.4 million, officials said.

The education department has hired consultant engineers for technical support in the construction works. “The engineers frequently visit the site during the construction schools,” officials said.

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