Highlights efforts to revive education in KP during COVID-19 crisis
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary & Secondary Education Department (E&SED) with the technical assistance from DFID has announced results of the District Performance Scorecard (DPS) for November 2020.
The DPS meeting for the month of November was held on Wednesday, November 17th, at the Directorate of Elementary and Secondary Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The meeting was chaired by the Minister E&SED Mr. Shahram Khan Tarakai, in the presence of Director of E&SE Dr. Hafiz Ibrahim, and all District Education Officers.
E&SED assessed the performance of 56 DEO Offices (28 male and 28 female) of settled districts and DEO offices in 13 NMDs on Quality and Access indicators against targets set in their respective District Education Plans and COVID-19 safety and precautionary response of schools. COVID-19 response remained the priority area of the E&SED for ensuring safety of students and teachers.
The schools were ranked on the basis of their response to the COVID-19 situation that included provision of hygienic and safety measures to reduce the spread of the novel virus. Schools were mandated to display COVID related awareness posters during educational activities. Girl schools of district Malakand and Kohat topped the list with a score of hundred percent, followed by Swabi and Haripur districts where 99.8 percent girls school ensured the display of posters in settled districts.
Another important indicator of the COVID-19 response to record how the schools adapted to the COVID situation by instituting a policy of binding students to wear facemasks. Buner (boys) scored most to remain on top with 98.1 percent. Female schools from Upper Chitral ranked number two with 98 percent. Shangla (boys) ranked third with 97.3 percent schools that made wearing masks necessary. Girls schools in three other settled districts made it to the top five.
Haripur (female) and upper Chitral (male) were ranked number one and two respectively in the category of making the handwash and soap available at handwashing points. FR Kohat (NMDs) scored higher in the category of availability of soap and handwash at handwashing points in boys and girls schools with 98 and 87 percent respectively. None of the newly merged districts scored less than 70 percent on the provision of handwash and soap at the handwashing points in boys and girls schools.
Teacher attendance was another indicator to gauge the quality of education across newly merged and settled districts. Overall teacher attendance rate in settled districts during the month of November increased to a historic 92 percent with Chitral (male) topping the scorecard with 95.1 percent whereas Swabi (female) and Malakand (Female) exhibited the teacher attendance rate of 95.67 and 95.34 percent respectively. More than 28 DEO offices achieved their targets of teachers attendance rate in settled districts. Similarly, the NMDs list was topped by FR Kohat (male) and FR Peshawar (male) respectively with scores of 89 and 88 percent.
This time, the performance scorecard on quality of education was recorded at a high 85.6 percent among girls and boys schools in Haripur. Swat (male) and Abbottabad and Malakand (both females) remained at a collective third position on the scorecard in settled districts.
On the Access Performance scorecard, Chitral upper (male) topped with 84.3 percent whereas Mansehra (female) and Haripur (female) both scored 67 and collectively gained second position.
Not only more students are coming to schools, but students are also learning better due to the quality initiatives of E&SED. Learning outcomes of students shows improvement in quality of education, where Grade 5, Grade 8, and Grade 10 Exam results outperformed against its annual targets.
Substantial progress was observed in several key education indicators especially during the pandemic. Meeting concluded with the distribution of certificates of appreciation to top 07 position holders in Quality and Access scorecards. Education Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai appreciated the innovative approach of E&SED for using data to improve service delivery in education and offered his support and guidance to further accelerate performance. Minister Shahram Tarakai emphasized on the safety of school children, clear instructions were given to the DEOs to make sure that every school teacher starts the class with five minutes talk on following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for COVID-19 social distancing and infection prevention control. The Minister further called attention to the improved teachers’ attendance, “Even during the COVID-19 the teachers performance has increased, and increase in teacher’s attendance results into an increase in the students achievement”. He also praised the decrease in non-functional schools, calling it an opportunity to attract increased enrolment in the government schools.