PESHAWAR - Despite allocation of huge funds and up-gradation of scales for the teachers at elementary level, the teachers are not interested to make the Parents Teacher Council (PTC) - an effective body to coordinate school affairs with Executive District Officer Education.

This council, which was formed a decade back in 2002 during the then President Musharaf government, was aimed to make the teachers responsible to the parents and executive body of the PTC.

The PTC, was also responsible to use funds at its own discretion according to the priorities set by its members including repairs, minor civil works, purchase of furniture, classroom, gardening and purchasing laboratory equipments.

The council comprises four members from the parents, the principal, head master, head mistress, head teacher of the respective school, an influential person from the same locality and a retired government servant. All these members are elected for a period of three academic years.

According to the rules and regulations, the parents become members of the council through elections conducted in the respective schools.

The elected parents would select one of them as chairman/chairperson of the PTC as well as one of retired government servant and an influential in the locality as members while principal/head master/head mistress/head teachers will be secretary of the council.

The Parents Teachers Council chairman may complain to concerned EDO in case of absence of any teacher from duty without justification, and also keep check upon the activities related to financial matters. Without the consent of the PTC chairman, a school head teacher could not withdraw funds for specific work.

Ironically said that now in most of the primary and high school this body exists only on papers and mostly the head teachers appoint a person as a chairman of his choice without consulting the community while in most of the areas the community members are not aware that what PTC stands for.

One of the school principles told TheNation on condition of anonymity that they normally choose an illiterate person who is traditional professional cook who is only formal chairman of the PTC.

He said that if they choose an educated person, then he would make problem for the teachers.

Another primary school teacher in the district told this scribe that they have selected an illiterate carpenter as chairman of PTC who even does not know that what is his responsibility. He said that in most of the financial matters they sign papers on his behalf.

The PTC executive body is elected for the term of three years but most of the teachers in the last 10 years have conducted formal election only once. If the PTC works according to the given guidelines, it could bring very positive impacts on respective institutes and schools but its election needs to be held under the patronage of district education officers and retired educationists. 

In rural parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the teachers frequently absent from their duties and do not come to school on time.

Despite their up-gradation and increase in their salaries, they are also operating private businesses, which disrupts their focus on their duties in government schools.

In girls schools, the situation is more worsening than in boys schools as most of the female teachers hand over the overall affairs of the school to local teacher who attend school on his place and in the end of month they take proper share in her salary.

The District Education Department should properly set up a proper monitoring rooms and attendance machine at various schools to keep a close watch over the duties and attendance of the teachers.

Some of the NGOs have provided automatic attendance machine in two schools of Peshawar, which record the overall monthly attendance of the teacher. There is a desperate need of these machines to install in all the schools of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa aimed to increase the attendance of teachers in government schools.

It is direly needed that after up-gradation of the teachers, the Secretary Education and District Education Officers should personally inspect the overall performance of the primary schools and also should take effective measure to make the parents teacher council a powerful body at local level.