ISLAMABAD - The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday approved Rs4.06 billion for clearing previous liabilities of Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) in the country up to December 2018.

The ECNEC meeting, which was chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar, had detailed discussion on matters pertaining to the project regarding Operation of Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) in the country. The Committee accorded approval for revised project with a total cost of Rs 4058.158 million, clearing the previous liabilities and six months expenses of the current financial year up to December 2018.

The Basic Education Community Schools project is based on non-formal basic education system where the community provides for the premises while expenses on teachers’ honorarium, utility bills, text books etc are met by the federal government.

The BECS system, now owned by federal ministry of education was initiated in 1995 as a project to provide informal education to the students living in communities where government had not established regular schools. Under the project around 682000 students are getting education where 12480 teachers from the communities are registered by government as community teachers. The project initiated with the collaboration of Norwegian government was run with the donation fund awarded by the government of Norway till 2003. After 2003 the project was run with the support of National Education Foundation (NEF) till 2007. BECS teachers on protest claim that they are performing their duties for the last 24 years and the government hasn’t issued their salaries since last 9 months, and is reluctant in regularizing them in their schools.

Dozens of BECS teachers from all across the country last month had staged a sit-in at D-Chowk. Later, they had called off the protest when the concerned authorities assured them that their issues will be resolved on priority basis.