Government will enroll 1 million kids in month-long campaign

On Monday,  the elementary and secondary education department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will formally commence a drive to enroll one million out-of-school children.

“We have set a goal of enrolling one million out-of-school children in public schools for the upcoming academic year commencing on August 15,” Minister for Education Shahram Tarakai told Dawn.

According to him, the campaign was meant to continue simultaneously at the province, district, tehsil, village, and neighborhood council levels. He stated that every effort would be made to enroll as many out-of-school youngsters as possible.

In addition to education department employees, the minister stated that local elders, older students, parents-teachers council members, scouts, and school principals would be involved in door-to-door admission efforts to reach every child.

Beginning today, a simultaneous campaign will be held at the provincial, district, tehsil, village, and neighborhood council levels.

He stated that it was the responsibility of every province resident to join in the campaign and enroll the children in their area who lacked access to education.

Regarding educational facilities, the minister stated that the government had provided pupils with free textbooks, great educational facilities, and qualified professors. However, he urged the populace to fulfill their duty by enrolling their children in school.

During the month-long campaign, pupils will be enrolled in the first and second shifts of schools so that youngsters working the first shift will also have the chance to study.

“This year, the entire admissions campaign has been digitized, and the education department has developed an app. On the dashboard, all information regarding newly enrolled children is available to the public, as stated by the minister.

Mutasim Billah, secretary of the department of elementary and secondary education, told Dawn that the department devised a different enrollment strategy than in the past. “I have instructed all headmasters and teachers to find and enroll youngsters who are not in school in their respective regions,” he added.

According to him, schoolteachers and members of parent-teacher councils were also instructed to meet with parents in hujras and mosques to urge them to enroll their children in schools.

“These out-of-school children, who support their impoverished parents by working as laborers, will be enrolled in the second school shift,” stated the education secretary.

He stated that if the second shift were not available in certain places, the education department would implement it in government schools in those areas. He noted that the agency would not jeopardize the education of youngsters who were not in school.

The secretary stated that district-level education officials, district administration, and the Education Monitoring Authority were also entrusted with frequent enrollment checks.

He stated that school principals would be liable for a student’s withdrawal from school. He said that it would aid in lowering the government school dropout rate.

To encourage enrollment in the tribal districts, the secretary stated that elementary and middle school children would get a monthly stipend ranging from Rs1,500 to Rs4,000. He added, “The government has provided Rs500 million for this purpose.”