MANSEHRA: About 360 state-run schools, with less than 50 students each, will be closed in the district under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's educational rationalisation policy.
According to data compiled by this correspondent, as many as 250 schools for boys and 110 schools for girls are being closed.
The break-up of schools for males and females shows that following closure of all the 360 schools, the number of boys' schools would come down from existing 1600 to 1350 and girls' schools from 805 to 695 in the district.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government has decided to close the schools where the number of students is less than 50, and the director education through an official letter has asked the district education officers to close such schools without any delay and hand over their buildings to the deputy commissioners in their respective districts. According to sources, almost all schools being closed are of primary level. "The human resource of abandoned schools would be shifted to schools elsewhere in the district where they are needed," said District Education Officer Zafar Arbab Abbasi.
He said that they had also compiled details of the schools. "In some areas, two schools are running in the same building with surplus staff while there are schools where the strength of students is in thousands and appropriate staff and teachers are required," said Abbasi. To a query, he said that students of closed schools would be enrolled in the nearby schools.
"Whether the buildings of the schools are used for any other official purposes or be auctioned in public is a matter to be decided later," said Abbasi.
The district education officer said that the basic purpose behind the action is to promote quality education. Abbasi said that there were schools in Mansehra district where the total strength of students was hardly 20 but five teachers and other staff are posted there.
"If we close such schools and shifted their staff to other schools that lack teachers, it would promote quality education," he said.