PESHAWAR - To discourage classed-based education system in the province, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is going to introduce English as medium of instruction from the upcoming academic year, starting from April-2014. It was the long standing desire and part of education policy of the PTI government to get rid of the decades old class-based education system of the country, however, the dream was partially materialised soon after the party secured majority in May 2013 elections only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The dual system of education had almost closed the doors of universities and standard colleges for the poor people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and after attaining even high marks in their metric examinations, they were not allowed to take admission for F.Sc in government colleges, because most of the top seats had been occupied by the students of upper class families who spend million of rupees by getting quality education in English medium schools. Talking to The Nation, Provincial Minister Provincial Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Mohammad Attip said that we have fulfilled our promise with the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in the upcoming march English medium of instruction would be introduced from the nursery level. “In order to enable the teachers to teach these new courses, we have started phase wise transformation from Urdu and Pashto medium into English medium and for this purpose they have started training of the teachers,” he explained.He said the students being instructed in English will gradually pass on to the next grade, automatically rolling out the new medium of instruction to the next academic level. “With each year, more subjects will be taught in English to make them more familiar,” he added.He elaborated that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Department was facing shortage of 14,000 teachers and these vacancies would be filled on emergency basis. He said that in the first instance, they would recruit 8,000 teachers through NTS while in next phase, the senior teachers would be promoted to overcome the shortage in middle and high schools. He vowed to follow complete merit in the induction of teachers and in the overall process transparency would be ensured at all costs. When asked about the change of syllabus, he replied that the same syllabus would be followed, however, only medium of instruction would be changed to make resemblance with private schools. The new policy of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government was widely hailed by the poor people of society who were waiting to introduce uniform education system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Talking to this scribe, Muslim Khan whose son is topper of government school told that they have been waiting since long for uniform education policy and their dream was fulfilled by the PTI government who introduced this uniform policy. He added that though his son is topper in government high school in ninth class but still he will not be able to get admission in F.Sc due to high competition with the students of private schools. He also called upon the government to ensure presence of teachers in the government schools, as most of them despite getting handsome salaries were not attending their duties. The government has also hired 360 master trainers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who would train 23,000 teachers while GPS based biometric system have been introduced to check the attendance of teacher and students. A uniform learning system is part of PTI’s six-point education policy, which also looks to increase the education budget and boost literacy rate. The most recent annual budget saw a 30 per cent increase in funds allotted to the education department giving the KP the resources to change the medium of instruction for grade one. It has been learnt that working groups comprising educationalists and experts have proposed redesigning of the education sector to provide students a more fertile learning environment and allocate more budget to utilise the resources on quality education.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 13-Mar-2014 here.