The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started facilitating enrollment of children of Afghan refugees in quality educational institutions of the province. KP Education Department officials told APP on Sunday that out of schools Afghan refugees’ children were being prepared for enrollment in quality educational institutions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Under the Schools Readiness Program (SRP), he said initially Afghan refugees students were being enrolled in 35 government schools in the province including Peshawar. He said, likewise, under Post Primary Readiness Program, he said the refugees’ children are being facilitated in 10 schools in Peshawar, Nowshera and Swabi. Under Education Sector Plan (ESP), he said the government has embarked upon special initiatives and reforms in KP geared towards development, digitization and improving service delivery in the education system. Under ESP, he said Rs 166.47 billion investments was made by KP government during 2019-20, yielding concrete results by reducing out-of-school children aged 05 to 16 years from 23 percent in 2016-17 to 20 percent in 2018. The students’ enrollment in government schools since 2013 has been increased by 16pc with substantial enhancement of 2.44pc in 2019-20 while teachers’ attendance was improved from 91 to 92 percent after introduction of Online Action Management System (OAMS), resulting reduction in an unauthorized absence to 1.63 percent from 3.4 percent in 2016-17. The special spring enrollment drive has started across the province to bring out of schools children back to their schools. The second shift in 1,123 government schools began in KP including merged tribal districts after recruitment of 5,000 teachers through parents teachers councils (PTC). Over 25,000 students had already been enrolled in these schools. He said Rs 337 million were released for recruitment of 1,240 teachers through PTC last year while the recruitment process of 3,000 school leaders started. Besides recruitment of about 72,576 teachers for different cadres by the KP government, he said every school would be provided a tablet PCs for education of young children. As per the govt ‘education for all’ vision, he said that the government’s schools were being equipped with furniture worth Rs 6 billion that would facilitate 2.6 million children in KP. Besides, he told that establishment of digital laboratories in over 50 schools under Early Age Program, 5,000 early childhood education (ECE) rooms were constructed while 100 ECE rooms are being built in underdeveloped merged tribal districts. Under the Smart School Initiative, he said an MoU has been signed with Hundreds of Original Projects for Employment (HOPE’87) to set up smart schools besides digitization of educational activities. ‘Halka Basta’ (less weight school bag) Act has been passed to facilitate one to 12th grade students while uniform education system from grade one to 5th class in all government schools implemented, he told. In merged tribal districts, 308 schools were constructed and upgraded while 100 ECE rooms and 240 science laboratories are being built besides 733 ECE rooms approved during the last three years. Under Rehmat-ul-Lilalameen scholarship program, as many as 7,000 scholarships were being provided besides 360,000 scholarships to 60,000 talented students under Stars of KP and 0.9 million scholarships through Noon Academy. Private schools were stopped from collection of admission, promotion and capitation fees and only monthly fee would be collected form children. He said 67 new schools were established and upgraded while feasibility of two new cadet colleges completed last year. He said 170 new schools including 50 primary, 40 each middle to high and high to higher secondary would be established and upgraded in the current fiscal year while solarization of 8,000 schools, reconstruction of 700 earthquake affected schools besides reconstruction of 300 dilapidated schools was in progress. In merged tribal districts, he said that 31 new schools were set up and upgraded last year while 75 new schools to be established and 1100 schools would be solarized during 2021-22. About Rs 25 billion were spent on provision of basic facilities in schools during 2014-15 to 2017-18 facilitating over 83,000 students while Rs one billion were released to settled districts last year. He said Rs 1.97 billion was released in 2019-20 for provisions of missing facilities including construction of boundary walls, additional rooms, clean drinking water and washrooms in tribal districts’ schools. Annually, Rs132 million budget was spent on scholarships while 684 position holders were provided scholarships on merit. Regular stipend is being provided to 50,600 girl students ie Rs 2,400 per year to each girl student of class sixth to eighth and Rs 6,000 of class 9th to 10th. The stipend program in less developed Batagram and Lakki Marwat has helped increased girls’ enrollment by 51 percent in last fiscal year,” he said adding Rs 600 per month for girl student of grades Kachi, one and six classes, Rs 1500 per month for ninth grade and Rs 3,000 for 10th grade were being provided.