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Centre fails to fund education projects in KP

March 03, 2013

PESHAWAR, March 3: The federal government, like its predecessor, has failed to execute several projects in education sector it had promised from time to time during the last five years, according to officials.

Setting up of a cadet college in Charsadda is one of such projects that couldn’t see the light of the day. Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had promised at a public gathering in 2011 that federal government would establish a cadet college in Charsadda, the hometown of ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.

However, despite a lapse of around two years, there is no sign of the ‘promised’ cadet college. It was said that provincial government would provide land for the college while federal government would build it.

So far, sources said, the promised college was not included in the federal government’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). “This year we will again request the federal government to include the cadet college in PSDP,” said an official in education department.

Asked about provision of land by the provincial government, he said that provision of land for the cadet college was not an issue if federal government included it in the PSDP.

Before Mr Gilani, former president Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf had promised to build four cadets one each in Charsadda Lakki Marwat, Swat and Chitral.

Later, the federal government categorically refused to finance the proposed colleges, sources said.

The second important project, which the incumbent federal government refused to finance, was establishment of Swat University, sources said.

Prior to the launch of military operation in Swat in 2009, the government had struck a peace deal with militants to restore peace in the district. Besides accepting other demands of the militants, the government had to establish Islamic University at Imam Dheri, the village of Swat Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, on the pattern of International Islamic University Islamabad.

However, the government decided to shun the idea of establishment of the Islamic university at Imam Dheri when, according to sources, Swat violated the peace deal. The government then decided to set up a ‘general’ university instead of Islamic university, they added.

The scheme of establishing Swat University was reflected in the Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2008-09 but later the federal government again refused to finance it.

In such situation, sources said, the provincial government was left with no option but to finance the scheme from its own meagre resources.

The third project, according to sources, that the federal government abandoned was more important. The third scheme was construction of 1,000 primary schools announced by President Asif Ali Zardari in his development package for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, they added.

After announcement by Mr Zardari, the elementary and secondary education department prepared a work plan to construct the schools in the areas having a large number of out of school children and shortage of schools, sources said.

They said that the proposed schools were distributed among the districts on need basis and preference was given to the militancy-hit districts.

The project “Crash Programme for Establishment of One Thousand Primary Schools” was also reflected under PSDP 2009-10. It is part of the Mid Term Development Frame Work (MTDF) as it improves access to education, especially primary education.

The project was also approved by the Executive Committee for National Economic Council. However, with the devolution of the education department to the province after the passage of 18th Amendment, the federal government went back on its words and refused to construct the proposed 1000 primary schools, sources said.