Programme to provide schools with facilities 'abandoned'
Peshawar, Oct 14: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has virtually abandoned the much-trumpeted Tameer School Programme in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as its leadership hasn't launched an effective campaign inside the country and abroad for raising money to provide basic facilities to thousands of government schools.
Since the staging of an anti-government sit-in in Islamabad last month, the entire PTI leadership has been engaged with it setting aside its priorities, including collection of donation collection for the schools lacking basic facilities, the elementary and secondary education department officials said.
As there's no formal donation campaign, philanthropists and well-off people, too, have lost interest in the welfare initiative.
During the first two months of its launch, the Tameer School Programme had drawn tremendous interest of philanthropists and well-off people.
Under the programme, philanthropists, well-to-do families and donor agencies own responsibility of providing missing facilities to government schools.
Currently, around 10,000 government schools don't have electricity, 7,500 are without drinking water, 5,000 lack boundary wall and 4,000 have no washrooms, according to the official data of the department.
During the TSP launching ceremony on April 30 at the Government Girls Primary School in Duranpur, PTI chief Imran Khan had said the donation campaign would be launched in the country and in developed countries for the schools, which direly need basic facilities.
Imran Khan had said donation would be collected for the schools the same way he'd done for the establishment of the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital. The Elementary and Secondary Education Department had also pinned high hopes on the TSP and donation for it.
In the first two months i.e. May and June of the TSP launch, over Rs15 million was given by the philanthropists.
With the encouraging participation of philanthropists in the TSP as pilot project, it was extended to the entire province in July.
As pilot project, the TSP was launched in five districts, including Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera, Mardan and Abbottabad.
However, in the previous around three months i.e. July, August and September, only Rs5 million was donated, according to information posted on the TSP website.
The programme is still there but there is no political ownership of it, so very few people come forward for helping the government provide missing facilities in schools.
The officials said it was discouraging that the rate of donation for the TSP was gradually on the decline.
He said under the TSP, donors took the responsibility of building additional classrooms, supplying water, making boundary walls, and setting up computer labs and washrooms at schools.
The official said of hundreds of schools in a shambles, only 40 schools have been provided with missing facilities under the TSP during the last five months.
According to him, the parent teachers' councils of the respective schools are responsible to use donated funds without the involvement of any department of the provincial government.
The official said more stress had been laid on transparency as all details related to the donated funds and construction work on missing facilities had been placed on the TSP website.
When contacted, provincial elementary and secondary education minister Atif Khan said the PTI had not given the required attention to the TSP due to the launch of a sit-in in Islamabad.
"Imran Khan still says effective donation campaign will be launched to provide missing facilities in the schools once the sit-in is over," he said.
The minister said the TSP was launched a bit behind schedule as the establishment of transparent system for donation and its use took several months. DawnYour Comments
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