190126 kp education
Girls at a school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Thousands of girls are still not going to school in the province, data shows. Image Credit: Online

Islamabad: In its second consecutive term, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has failed to ensure school education for all the girls in the province.

At the primary level, education is still a challenge with around 114 ghost, or non-functional, schools existing in the province. The staff at this these non-functioning schools continue to draw salaries.

The PTI government had emphasised education as the cornerstone of its policy; however, in the past four years the number of 'ghost' schools have only increased, says a report released by the KP Education department recently.

According to the study, most of these schools - 62, infact - are in Kohistan. This number has risen in the past four years, from 15, says the report.

After Kohistan, Hangu, a district of KP known for militancy and religious extremism, features on the list: it has 17 such institutes.

Bannu, a district bordering formerly known Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), is number three on the list. In Bannu, there are 11 ‘girls schools’ where no girl student is enrolled.

In Battagram the Education Department found out 10 such non-functional schools for girls, in Buner 2 and in Karak one.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is facing a challenge with regard to girls' education and has assigned its local MPAs and councillors to convince the population particularly of the districts mentioned earlier to send their daughters to schools.

Currently, in three districts of Kohistan, there are only two high schools for girls: one in Dassu, the headquarters of the upper Kohistan district, and another in Batera.

In a recent report on KP’s educational reforms for five years, 2013-2018, by a non-government organisation working for girls education, Alif Ailaan, the district of Kohistan ranks the lowest in the province in terms of education and is on the 141st position in the overall national ranking.

The region is also said to have ended up on the poorest slot in the Human Development Index (HDI).

Kohistan is known for the poor participation of women in every day life. In the past, four murders were reported for singing wedding songs.

Kohistan shares a boundary with Shangla District where women here were barred by the local elders to cast their votes in general elections of 2018 and Election Commission had to re-ply the poll there.