KP schools second shift at risk of closure amid non-payment of salaries

Required funds have been issued and employees will get their salaries soon, official says

Daniyal Aziz
May 29, 2023
Children attend a class at a school in Peshawar. — AFP/File
Children attend a class at a school in Peshawar. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The classes under the afternoon shift in government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could be suspended as the teachers have reportedly stopped teaching owing to the non-payment of salaries, it emerged Monday.

The provincial education department started the classes in the second shift in September 2021 to promote education and reduce the dropout ratio. Schools withmore than 60% enrollment were included in the second shift programme.

Currently, 80,000 to 100,000 children are studying in the afternoon classes.

Former education minister Shahram Khan Tarakai had said that another motive behind the launch of this programme was to provide opportunities to the children who were unable to go to schools during the regular time due to different reasons.

The programme was partially suspended in January 2023 as the former government ended the afternoon classes in 167primary, middle, and higher secondary schools in different districts.

In January 2023, the previous government had also directed the education officers concerned not to demand their salaries.

As per the Education Department statistics, a total of 3.2 million children in KP and tribal areas are out of school, while the dropout ratio of girls as compared to boys is greater in the tribal areas as 97% of girls quit schools at the primary level. The primary reason for this is that the girls do not get permission to go to schools in remote areas.

Sources said that as many as 8,000 teachers part of the second shift programme have been deprived of salaries for four months.

However, when asked, the incumbent additional education secretary said that the required funds have been issued and the employees will get their salaries soon.

He said that Rs3.3 million had been released to the relevant deputy commissioners and district education officers.

It will be investigated why the salaries had not yet been paid, he added.