The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister’s Adviser on Elementary and Secondary Education, Zia Ullah Bangash, has directed the Elementary and Secondary Education Directorate for a survey of more than 150,000 teachers whose children are studying in private schools. The education department is planning to bring a new education policy, according to which every government school teacher’s children will be enrolled in government schools. Not very clear through what the government wants to achieve from this policy. Since this would neither result in enrolment of Out of School Children, neither will it help in reducing dropout rates. Applying this policy only to the teachers will give a negative feeling among the teachers’ community and as a result, they may start protests which will further deteriorate the government schools system.If the intentions are to involve public in taking interest in their nearby schools, then such policies can be more effective if their domain is extended across the board – to policymakers, secretariat staff, political office holders and public servants. All alone there are more than 400,000 public servants and 40,000 local government representatives. Politicians and public servants should be the first ones in line with teachers to enrol their kids in government schools but the fact is their kids study in expensive private schools. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, several ministers and parliamentarians are owners of private school systems who run a parallel education system to the public sector. The sitting speakers of the both National and Provincial Assemblies are owners of private schools’ systems who enrol and attract students from public sector schools. A conflict of interest law is needed in such situations where a person, sitting in the top house of the country or province, owns a competing school system or business to the state.KP Education Advisor Zia Ullah Bangash, on the other hand, set an example when last year he enrolled his own daughter in a government school in Kohat. This was no less than a blessing for hundreds of students enrolled in that school since after enrolling his daughter, Bangash started regular monitoring of school’s performance in all aspects. The school not only improved in teachers’ attendance but also received furniture, state-of-the-art computer labs and play areas. Bangash’s positive intention helped the entire community in receiving a quality education in the government school. Additionally, his party trusted him as the best choice for the education ministry. KP Education Advisor Zia Ullah Bangash, on the other hand, set an example when last year he enrolled his own daughter in a government school in Kohat. This was no less than a blessing for hundreds of students enrolled in that school since after enrolling his daughter, Bangash started regular monitoring of school’s performance in all aspects. The school not only improved in teachers’ attendance but also received furniture, state-of-the-art computer labs and play areasInstead of teachers, if the criteria of enrolling children in public schools is applied on all ministers and influential leaders – they will start paying attention to public schools in their areas and since they are in a position to fix administrative needs and issues of the schools, not only their own kids will receive quality free education but thousands of other poor students will also benefit. The schools will also improve the way; Zia Ullah Bangash improved the school in Kohat where he enrolled his daughter.The Government also needs to address this issue from the supply end. Thousands of schools are lacking basic facilities. As much as 25% of KP schools are without basic facilities. These missing facilities include furniture, electricity, water, boundary walls, toilets, and classrooms. As winter is fast approaching, thousands of government schools’ students will helplessly continue to sit on cold floors without any classroom or electricity facilities. Various studies prove that sitting on cold floors causes’ illness due to the unhygienic situation and distraction due to lack of comfort. Provision of Furniture will help in an increase in enrolment and a decrease in dropouts in government schools, since generally people don’t send their kids to schools lacking basic facilities and furniture. Lack of basic facilities, especially in the case of girls’ schools, leave thousands of girls out of schools. Majority parents do not feel comfortable in sending their girls to schools without boundary walls and toilets. They consider such schools as highly unsafe for their girls. The growing child abuses and the issues of gender-based violence also limit socially poor parents to send their kids to public schools where teachers are often not available, boundary wall and washrooms are non-existing.Public sector schools have more students in number, as compared to private schools, but the number of teachers in private schools is higher than public schools. This shows a greater need for more teacher induction in public schools. Still, there are over a thousand schools in KP with one classroom and one teacher. The government needs to focus on such schools, improve infrastructure and quality of teaching alongside legislations. Only a comprehensive demand side and supply side strategy will result in long-lasting improvements in the education sector rather than a single policy initiative that too against the teacher’s community, which is a backbone of the education system.The writer is a public policy commentator and communications professional. He can be contacted at Twitter: @zia051 or email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, October 3rd 2018.