The Directorate of Elementary and Secondary Education in cooperation with Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) on Wednesday hold the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) transition dialogue with reference to Article 25-A of the constitution, which ensures provision of free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to 16 years. Senior officials from Nur Foundation, National Commission on Human Development (NCHD), Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation (E&SEF) and representatives of civil society shared their views on the occasion. In his opening remarks, E&SED Directorate Director Farid Khattak said, “The terrible line drawn between our two territories by colonial and post-colonial regimes was demolished forever on May 31, 2018 by the passage of 31st Amendment to the constitution.” All fundamental rights will now be extended without discrimination to what was FATA, he said, adding: “We will have to work on a war footing for integration of the two regions as the new KP.” ITA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Baela Raza Jamil presented hard core indicators, trends for both regions over time. In a table discussion, FATA Director Education Hashim Khan reassured the participants that FATA was already working on many progressive dimensions amidst grave challenges of extremism, insecurity and fragmented decision making across the tribal belt. Hashim maintained that that there was a great deal of progressive initiatives already in place despite constraints on construction, teacher training and right to education act through the existing sector plan and now the challenge would be to integrate and harmonise the critical elements for quality education for all, especially girls. Multiple suggestions emerged from the dialogue, including holding of a series of strategic evidence-based meetings immediately after Eidul Fitr and constitution of sub-committees for collecting district/region specific data /statistics on most recent indicators -as a robust situation analysis to inform the transition of key adjacent geographic areas – including merged Frontier Regions with seven tribal districts/agencies, mobilising groups to focus on inclusion, gender and equity challenges as per the equity-strategy under KESP, access to schools for all- ‘bringing the schools to the students and also taking students to schools’ as a flexi approach to reach every child so no child is left behind, review/amendment to the current KP Right to Free and Compulsory Primary & Secondary Education Act 2017 in light of the transition taking into account the FATA RTE Act provisions as well. All participants unanimously agreed to the suggestions. Published in Daily Times, June 7th 2018.