Report on literacy reveals alarming situation: Kohistan district has only one girl in class X
PESHAWAR, Sept 10: A report of the NWFP Schools and Literacy Department
reveals that only one girl student is enrolled at matriculation level in the
remote Kohistan district where drop-out rate at public sector schools is
registered as 72.87 per cent.
The annual report prepared by the Education
Management Information System (EMIS) further disclosed that three girls had been
enrolled in class 9th and 20 girls in class 8th in the entire district with
total 210,628 female population (according to 1998 census
Figures show 85 per cent drop-out rate among girls at the middle
level and 88.58 per cent at class 5th level.
Drop-out rate among boys is
also very high and 72.52 per cent boys left schools before reaching the
secondary level in the district which has a total population of 472,570
Officials of the education department acknowledged that despite
the fact the provincial government in collaboration with the World Food
Programme (WFP) had been running various activities could not encourage parents
to send their children to schools in the district.
"Kohistan district is
a hopeless case for us and for many reasons parents avoid sending their children
to schools," observed an official of the education department.
that parents sent their children to schools when they received oil and money,
otherwise they did not come.
The government and the WFP had been running
'food for education programme' since 1996 and provide 4.50 kilogram edible oil
to each school-going girl every month at the primary level and women teachers
are also receiving the same package to discourage absenteeism in schools. Apart
from this, boys and girls studying in class 6th, 7th and 8th are regularly paid
Rs200 monthly stipend.
The number of schools for boys and girls in the
public sector is 1,164, of which 152 had been closed due to numerous reasons
like non availability of teaching staff.
There is only one high school
for girls in the district.
Majority of the schools are without basic
facilities, such as drinking water and toilets.
Few years ago the
government brought some 50 girls from Kohistan to Swat district to complete
their secondary school education.
The programme aimed at recruiting local
people and promoting community awareness. They were provided accommodation
But 22 girls had gone back without completing their
education, officials said.
Citing major reasons for high drop-out rate
and low literacy in the district, officials said that majority of the people
regularly migrated in summer and winter and non availability of local
They said that girl education was a traditionally a taboo and
people avoided sending them to school.
Officials said that local women
educationists were not available in Kohistan and the department had to recruit
non-local women teachers in this underdeveloped district.
They said that
non-local women teachers were encouraged to marry with local residents in order
to solve the problem of shortage of teaching staff and promote women
"It was hoped that this practice would encourage the women
education, but unfortunately it didn't," said an official.
He said that
the women teachers, who had married in the local communities, forbad them (their
wives) from teaching.
"No body in the Kohistani community is ready to
break this taboo and it can take years and years," the official
The government has placed Kohistan in the category of hard
areas in the province and announced certain incentives for the recruitment of
locals. Under the programme local people having secondary level qualifications
are eligible for recruitment in primary and middle schools.
said that despite incentives local staff was not available.
government has started construction of a degree college for boys and a hostel
for women staff in Dassu, the district headquarters to solve the accommodation
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|Updated: 14 Oct, 2014|