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70,000 schools without basic facilities: minister

RAWALPINDI, Aug 7: As many as 70,000 schools in the country are without the basic facilities of water, electricity, lavatories and boundary walls, and the federal government has committed itself to ensure provision of all missing facilities in the institutions under the Rs100 billion Education Reforms Programme.

This was stated by Minister of State for Education Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli on Monday.

According to the National Education Census carried out with a Rs185 million aid from the United Nations Development Programme, there are 247,000 schools in the country.

The minister was speaking at the opening of a week-long summer camp for the male position holders of 27 education boards in the Secondary School Certificate examination 2007, at Lawrence College, Ghora Gali Murree.

The camp has been arranged by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpindi under the aegis of the Inter- Board Committee of Chairmen.

Ms Tahirkheli said there were 1,500,000 teachers in the government schools, where some 33,000,000 students were getting education.

The missing facilities in the institutions would be provided in the first phase of the Education Reforms Programme. While in the second phase, facilities for extra-curricular activities would be made available and the respective provinces would provide buildings and furniture for the projects.

She said to attain 100 per cent literacy rate at the primary level by 2015, every child in the country should be enrolled in school by 2010. "We have to check the increasing trend of drop-out," she added.

In this connection, the government has planned to focus on the far-off areas of Balochistan and Federally-Administered Tribal Areas.

She said the government would select 1,000 brilliant students from these areas and give them education in the best institutes of the country. After completion of education they will be asked to serve in their native areas.

Speaking on the occasion, chairman BISE Rawalpindi Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Baig said the participants of the 8th camp hailing from different parts of the country would spend together a week full of educational and recreational activities. Dawn
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