PESHAWAR - Launching special enrolment campaign in Peshawar, PTI chairman Imran Khan announced to provide extra funds to 29,000 schools of the province and vowed to eliminate culture of the class-based education system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwah.

“We’ll not compromise on education and in case of shortage of funds, I’ll go on special campaign to foreign countries to collect funds from Pakistani brothers to educate our next generation,” he said while addressing the special enrolment drive at Government Higher School Cantt No-1 here on Tuesday.

KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Speaker Asad Qaiser, Information Minister Shah Farman and Minister for Schools and Literacy Attif Khan were also present on the occasion.

“I’ll personally contact Pakistani expatriates, convincing them to sponsor our schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We’ll ensure transparency in the disbursement of funds donated by these people,” he said, adding the entire management system of schools is being changed. The PTI chief, however, hastened to add that bringing a change in the education sector was an uphill task, though not impossible. He added that reforms in education, health, judicial system and thana culture are the top priorities of the KPK government.

“We are revamping education sector because the prevailing system does not let the middle and lower middle class students to compete the students of elite schools. We’ll introduce uniformed syllabus in the whole province,” he said. Imran remarked that this goal could not be achieved without ameliorating education standard in the government-run schools.

Earlier, CM Khattak said the PTI is committed to materialise its promise of change. “People would witness a visible change in our education system by March next,” he claimed. Not only education, but every department has been tasked to devise well-planned strategies to bring about a change for better in their respective sectors, he said.  On this occasion, the PTI chief also enrolled two children in Government Higher Secondary School Cantt No-1. “I am accepting the challenge of increasing enrolment of children at all cast.

We are going to introduce same syllabus and equal education system from March 2014,” he promised. He recalled that Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had announced to release war prisoners for imparting education to ten persons.

To a question regarding the APC, Imran mentioned that all four points of the PTI were included in the declaration. He said it has been a long-standing demand of the PTI to start dialogue process with Taliban.

Earlier, Elementary and Secondary Education Secretary Joudat Ayaz, in his welcome address, said the current fiscal budget of the province registered an increase of 30 per cent. The government, he added, is determined to enrol about 2 million out-of-school children. “There would be a constant monitoring mechanism to keep an eye on the drop-out rate,” he said.

Meanwhile, the KPK government introduced several reforms aimed at improving education service delivery in the province.

The government is committed to improve the academic environment of public sector schools by providing free textbooks to students as an incentive. Yet, there are 1.5 million out-of-school children in the province which is alarming for the policy makers. The government has decided to launch an effective enrolment campaign, attracting maximum number of such children in order to ensure 100 per cent universal primary education in the coming years.

All the commissioners and deputy commissioners are tasked to support and supervise the enrolment drive in their respective divisions and districts, so that maximum number of children could be enrolled in schools. The teachers would be required to visit the nearby localities of their schools and prepare a list of out-of-school children and convince their parents to get them enrolled in schools.

All the public representatives and civil society organisations are expected to come forward and assist the government in this noble cause. The development partners presently working with education sector have already agreed to provide support in this drive. The activities will include the conduct of workshops in selected divisions to engage the DEOs and ADOs in the launch of this enrolment campaign.