Peshawar: Huge expenditures and significant success claims remain verbally stated words only, as huge gaps appear in the official data of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education (KPESE) Department, raising questions about the entitlement of achievements by KP Government in education reforms.

In 2013 after taking control over KP’s local government, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) focused heftily on education; spending 467 billion rupees until present: 168 billion expenditure was recorded only in year 2017-18. Further education department official data shows that KPESE department is the biggest of all departments in KP, which means in every ten workers of KP, six belong to KPESE department and around 68 per cent of education budget is spent on human resource in terms of salaries. Therefore, of every Rs. 10 spent on workers by KP local government, Rs. 7 are spent on employees’ salaries and the rest of Rs. 3 are spent on non-salary and development purposes.

Further our investigation on data reveals that KPESE has no such valid and similar data to prove their claims.

Background reality

The KP government has had its challenges for education reforms. In 2013, the shortages of teachers were identified in different government schools. In addition to filling empty space in year 2013, Education minister Atif Khan shared figures of current working teachers, estimated at 130000. And around 14000 teachers’ hiring process was initiated through National Testing Service (NTS). But according to the recent claims by the education department, so far around 40,000 plus teachers have been hired and 17,000 are currently in recruitment process. In response to a question to the Education department about recruited teachers, the officials responded, “we have a record of 37000 new recruited teachers in place”. The figure of the new recruited teachers are not reflecting in the official data reports, over the disputes of data figures the annual census report for year 2016-17 draft been rejected by education department officials.

Investigations by Truth Tracker on still due annual census report of year 2016-17 found that according to KPESE’s Education Management Information System (EMIS) department, the report draft were presented to Secretary Education Department but after rejection from Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) the report was postponed over disputed figures and department is now working on new census report of 2017-18 by IMU with the data collected by EMIS cell. Truth Tracker’s investigation of the claim of EMIS department with IMU found that the report was rejected on factual grounds by Secretary Education department. Anyhow it is strange that the new report is in process by IMU, which is claim by EMIS, and IMU claim that we are not working on any new annual census report, and told that they are only monitoring quality and progress of schools.

This is not the only annual report were due but Last year in February 2017 media focal person ESE KP, Naji Khattak, claimed that the Education Department’s report on fifth grade reading and writing abilities would be published in June 2017. The report, however, is still due with the education department despite the initial publication target of summer 2016.

The only data IMU section updates regularly are their monthly reports on basic infrastructure and teacher’s attendance based data on their unofficial link. A specifically designed mobile application helps generate the said data. However, for the longest the official KP IMU website displayed incomplete data, raising questions about the authenticity and verification of the data.

A local primary school teacher anonymously shared his baffling experience with Truth Tracker, “the day I filed a complaint on mobile app against missing basic facilities, I received a confirmation. The next day when I checked the progress of my complaint on the app, it showed that the issue has been resolved” a strange response from education department.

Number of Teachers and level-wise distributions

Our research that is based upon data of year 2015-16 reveals that a huge number of teachers are working in primary education, i.e. of every 10 teachers, 6 are working in primary schools, one in middle and three in high schools. In contrast of above figures the students to teachers ratio scale enumerates different figures for each level, like the ratio of primary teachers and students is 41 per teacher, 13 in middle, and 25 in high schools per teacher. This evidently shows how why the enrollments of students from primary to middle and high are dropping.

The KP government claim of recruiting more than 40 thousand new teachers across the province surpasses the number of required teachers for available schools, and currently around 17000 new teachers recruitment is under process. Which means more than 54 thousand teachers will be hired during PTI’s current ruling government period. In December 2013 minister education claimed that around 14 thousand of teachers’ shortage will be filled, but the above figures are larger than shortage. However none of the official open data reportage corroborates these claimed figures. The official website of KPESE says there is more than 1,23,380 teachers in KP, which means for instance adding with the above figures means education should have 177380 teachers in the end of this years in their data.

54000+123380 = 177380 teachers

177380 is the real expected figure of teachers in 2017-18 report of education department. The EMIS department says there are also some retired teachers’ figures but the retiree figure is not supposed to be as high as 54000 new hiring in-term of replacement and at-least the figures should be in reality rather than claims.

The investigations on old data before year 2013, evidently shows that the progress of performance is better than the data of 2013-2016 of current government of KP.

Truth Tracker found from a source at KPESE department that the number of teachers, they had in 2016-2017 annual census report, stand around 143000, further, after details from Salahud Din, Deputy Director, EMIS cell KPESE, claim the record of new hired teachers, which is 37 thousand, and hence the recent advertisement by the department to hire 17 thousands new teachers which is in process.

Quality and performance

The data analysis of Alif Ailaan shows that the overall quality of education of KP got around 50 points out of 100. Almost half of the public schools children not able to read and write basic sentence of Urdu/English/Pashto, despite huge number of teachers trained and still undergoing capacity trainings for teachers by KPESE. This means teachers are failing to deliver quality of educations to public schools’ children in KP. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 report data reveal that in every ten number of aged 5-16 girls four are capable to read sentence in Urdu/Pashto, whereas in every ten number of boys only five are capable to read at least sentence in Urdu/Pashto.

Among the 27 thousands public schools in KP, of every ten public schools four are male and six female. Recent data analysis reports on district ranking from Alif Ailaan shows that in every ten public schools only six are capable to deliver quality education in KP. The report on district ranking further states, that nine out of ten schools in KP has basic facilities which also can be found on IMU new dedicated monitoring link.

Further research over the same data reveals that Tank district of KP reported on top with maximum basic facilities in their schools, Kohat is marked second having maximum basic infrastructure facilities in their schools while Peshawar comes fourth having maximum basic facilities in schools.

Trust and allocations

Although since education emergency was clamped in KP by PTI government. The huge number of enrollment reported by Education department and also further their claims of migrating 34000 students from private to public schools and gaining trust of local parents to enroll their children in Public schools whereas their own children are still studying in elite private schools and the growth of increasing enrollments are still not that much surprising as their un-verified and proof wordings.

Despite investing more than 70 per cent of the education budget on human resource, the official data of KPESE department is still un-organized and doubtful. This means employees working in Education department are not capable to do the needful and responsible work as the same year 2015-16 data figures in official reports of KPESE department shows that numbers of both gender students enrollment is 4.2 million and over the same years of data in KP, Bureau of Statistics report shows 3.9 million for the same. This is another clear evidence of data disputes in education department of KP. These are not the only figure having issues but in every department the figures change in the same years records across districts when it come with references. Despite these reflections of the whole image of progress and allocations of funds, which is being allotted over those figures, makes for a problematic analysis.

Way forward

Since decades the battle for providing free, accessible and quality education in Pakistan the dream is still in the air despite huge investment. Shagufta Asad, private school principal told Truth Tracker, “For many years working in private sector, providing quality education in comparison with public sector, we noted that the average estimate, excluding elite schools, the expenses of private schools fare slightly equal to the public ones. But when we talk about skills abilities, then despite public schools teachers having more salary than private sectors, the quality of education is far different. To deliver quality education public sector must upgrade their curriculum and independently monitor their activity very transparently. So I would recommend third party monitoring to ensure the quality of education and facilities at public schools.” Shagufta further added that the focus on development in education department should be balanced like if there is primary school is constructed in a village, the middle and high also need to be constructed as after the primary. Indeed, where these children will go for their further education if the middle and high school are far away, in this way you can control the issue of dropping-out children from schools.

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