MARDAN: Provincial Education Minister, Muhammad Atif Khan, has termed role of the Parent Teachers Council (PTC) as being of cardinal importance for filling the gaps in the education sector and enhancing the literacy rate in the province. He was addressing the PTC convention on Tuesday at Government Higher Secondary School No-4 Mardan. He said that unlike the previous governments of the province the current government had spent around Rs 80 billion to plug the loopholes in the education sector. The event was organised by Alif Ailaan to highlight the issues pertaining to the PTC and their indispensable solution for accelerating the performance of the education sector. The minister said that unprecedented funds had been allocated for the betterment of the schools’ performance and resolving the decade long issues in the province through a viable presentation of the PTC. Atif Khan accused the previous governments for sidelining the PTC’s role in the province and for minimal allocation of funds in the education fund to the council. He said that the current government had increased the budget for the PTC by up to Rs 85 million for each district, to enhance the capability of each district and resolve the long standing grievances of the parent and schools’ teachers. However, Atif Khan mentioned the whistleblower Act as a remedy of corruption thereafter in every sector and called upon the PTC members to avoid indulging in any kind of corruption while using the fund. He revealed that an audit team would be assigned for carrying out each and every penny’s audit spent by the PTC in various districts of the province and no leniency would be shown to those found guilty. The education minister also lauded the merit based competent and qualified teachers’ induction during the last three years and claimed that abiding by the merit had taken the centre stage in the recruitment policy of the PTI. Around 50,000 teachers had been hired under the meritorious policy of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which would have a positive impact on the region, he added.