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Fata sees modest increase in literacy

Bureau Report 2014-04-01
PESHAWAR: The government has claimed a modest increase in the boys and girls` literacy rate in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

`Literacy rate for girls stands at a modest 10.5 per cent compared to 36.66 per cent for boys despite considerable expenditure incurred by the Fata Secretariat to improve education statistics in the area,` said a handout while quoting an official document.

Earlier, the girls and boys` literacy rate was three per cent and 29.51 per cent respectively.

According to the handout, Kurram Agency tops other tribal agencies in the girls` enrolment as 21.3 per cent girls have been enrolled there followed by Khyber Agency with 16.13 per cent such enrollment.

Giving agency-wise breakup of the girls` enrolment, the handout said the Fata Education Atlas 2011-12 reported that the proportion of girls enrolled in educational institutions stood at 7.5 per centin South Waziristan, 4.26 per cent in North Waziristan Agency, 21.03 per cent in Kurram Agency, 4.7 per cent in Bajaur Agency, 5.72 per cent in Mohmand Agency, 5.15 per cent in Orakzai Agency and 16.13 per cent in Khyber Agency.

Similarly, the proportion stands at 5.88 per cent in Frontier Region (FR) Dera Ismail Khan, 1.81 per cent in FR Lakki Marwat, 2.28 per cent in FR Tank, 1.07 per cent in FR Bannu, 24.09 per cent in FR Kohat and 16.66 per cent in FR Peshawar.

According to the handout, around 124,424 girls are enrolled in 1,551 primary schools, 19,614 girls in 158 middle schools, 13,837 girls in 42 high schools and 1,134 girls in five higher secondary schools in Fata. It said the recent militant activities and poor law and order situation in tribal areashad badly hampered the girls` education in the region but the government was taking steps to provide education across Fata.

The handout said in line with the government`s vision to introduce reforms to educate the tribal youth, the massive allocation of Rs3.67 billion in the development outlay of Fata 2013-14 for the uplift of education sector, was destined notonly to offset the impact of damages caused to educational institutions during the war against terrorism but also gave boost to the sector.

It said the education sector given top priority in the current annual development programme for Fata was to get 24.64 percent of the total outlay of Rs18.5 billion, which was being spent on 184 ongoing projectsineducation sectorinFata and 33 new schemes proposed in the current ADP. The handout said during the current uncertain situation in the tribal belt, educational institutions had suffered more than other departments.

It said 38 middle schools would be established in entire tribal region to increase the number of middle schools to facilitate students, while 125 primary schools would be converted into middleschools in the current fiscal and that three female hostels would be built for female teachers coming from outstations.

According to the handout, under all Fata programme for education sector, the Fata Secretariat has allocated Rs21 million for the purchase of land for cadet colleges in Kurram and Mohmand agencies and Rs6.964 million for the introduction of postgraduate classes in government degree colleges Khar, Parachinar and Miramshah.

Similarly, Rs23 million has been set aside for providing assistance to 100 talented students in Fata, Rs10 million for providing financial assistance to Fata students through establishment of endowment funds and Rs100 million for provision of free textbooks to students up to Class-V in all government schools in Fata.