PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Education, Muhammad Atif Khan, said on Wednesday that the government planned to recruit female staff in the newly-constructed primary schools across the province. The minister said this while addressing a live program of Pakhtunkhwa Radio.While commenting on the viral video on the social media, which showed a school teacher inhumanly beating little children inside a private school, Khan added that the said teacher was either not human or had some serious mental disorders. “The teacher has been arrested immediately and will be made an example” he noted.The minister added that a robust awareness campaign had been launched to educate students, parents and teachers alike, further asserting that corporal punishment could only be ended in schools by spreading awareness and taking stern action against those involved. More than 7,200 teachers found involved in different activities like corporal punishment and other issues had already been penalised while cases were also registered against them across the province, he maintained.Highlighting the government’s reforms in the education sector, Khan asserted that the present government had allocated a significant sum to the education sector, which was a proof of its commitment towards education. “In addition to 25,000 teachers recruited on pure merit, some 15,000 more will be appointed in a month or so whereas the same number will be appointed next year as well,” the minister remarked.He added that “political people never wanted to share their powers but I as a minister don’t have the power to appoint a teacher or have a say in any appointment”.The minister challenged that none could point out a single example of appointment in violation of the merit.With regard to teachers’ training, the minister said that the government was about to enter an agreement with the British Council for teachers training and only teachers qualifying the training would be allowed to carry on working whereas those failing would be sent home under a golden handshake scheme. Responding to a question about the female literacy rate, the minister said that education was equally needed by both males and females. However, he said that female education could play a more positive role in upbringing their kids, thus, leading a developed society. Of the new schools, 70 per cent will be meant for female whereas 30 percent will serve male students he noted, further adding, “We have also established 1400 girls’ community schools with the help of local communities.” The minister also disclosed that the first girl’s cadet college will be established in the province where females would get training.In his response to a question regarding science laboratories, Khan said that the present government had allocated Rs 17 billion for the construction of boundary walls, washrooms, extra rooms and the provision of equipment, which, he said, was unprecedented in the history. He further revealed that the ongoing work on 500 school laboratories was almost finished.When asked about ghost schools, the minister said that around 461 schools had been made functional whereas the rest would be strictly dealt with. About government’s enrolment campaign and capacity of schools, Khan remarked that some schools had a capacity problem whereas, in most of the schools, free space was being utilized for the extension and additional facilities, further adding that around 34000 students had been shifted from private schools to government schools which were a very encouraging indicator of public trust on government schools.He went on to note that some 200 demand driven smart schools were in progress and the decade’s elaborate problems could not be overcome in a day or two. However, he expressed hope that the initiatives of the PTI-led government would bring fruits in the near future.