38% enrolled students in tribal districts remain absent from schools: IMU report

The IMU started its operation in the tribal districts, soon after its merger in KP.

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38 % of the enrolled students in Tribal Districts reported absent from schools
38 % of the enrolled students in Tribal Districts reported absent from schools

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Independent Monitoring Unit has released its first report presenting a bleak picture of facilities in government schools in tribal districts.

The report depicted an alarming situation of student absenteeism in tribal districts, where 38% of the enrolled students were reported absent from schools.

Among the districts, Lakki Marwat was ranked on top, where student’s absenteeism is 70%. This is followed by 60% absenteeism from schools in FR Bannu and FR Tank, while 50% of students were reported absent from schools in FR Dera Ismael Khan, South and North Waziristan.

The IMU started its operation in the tribal districts on January 1, 2019. This was its first report on the status of education in tribal districts. The report further revealed that 27% i.e. 1549 schools out of the total 5788 schools in the newly merged districts are either temporarily closed or non-functional. While 33% of schools are illegally occupied, this includes both partially and wholly occupied schools.

According to the report “Schools which are entirely held by Landlords, Teachers, Chowkidar, NGOs, Police, and Army or by anyone for their personal use are categorized as wholly occupied,” the number of such schools is reported just two. While on the other hand, schools or part of schools used for personal matters are categorized as partially closed, the number of such schools in merged districts is 31.

The report also paints a dismal image of teacher attendance in schools, it reveals that almost 34% of the school teachers were reported absent from the schools. Among this lot, 9% were either on official leave or sanction duties.

In terms of basic facilities, 51% of schools lack water facility, 55 % lacks electricity, 30 % lacks toilets, while 18% lacks boundary walls. Adviser to CM on Elementary & Secondary Education KP, Zia Ullah Bangash said that in light of the IMU report 36 billion rupees are allocated for the education sector in tribal districts. He said that the government is working hard to improve the educational quality of the tribal belt.

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