Peshawar :Pakistan Education Champions Network Hails Government Decision to Provide free transportation facilities for female students in KP. The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recently announced free transportation facilities for female students. Mehmood Khan, the Chief Minister (CM) of KP, has approved free transportation for female students attending any public sector school in the province, to increase the literacy rate of young women. Many young girls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province are discouraged from continuing their education each year because of the long distances between their homes and schools and the lack of affordable transportation options for them to travel.
According to the Government Initially, the PTC (Parent-Teacher Council) fund will be used for a pilot project in remote areas of the province, according to the details provided by the Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED).
In 2022 Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) through a recommendation paper and joint position paper by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on Status of Women and Child Welfare & Protection Commission in their joint position paper with Pakistan Education Champions Network emphasized the provision of free transportation for girls in the rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the survey, which was carried out as part of the BISP’s National Socio-Economic Registry census with the help of elementary and secondary school teachers, the children not attending school in the province total 4.7 million while the number of out-of-school girls in the province is 2.9 million, which amounts to 53 per cent of the total 5.4 million girl population of the same age group.
Blue Veins local not-for-profit organization working to promote and protect girls’ secondary Education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for girls says if there is no school in her village she is forced to drop out. Parents will not allow their girls to walk to school due to the risk of violence, and there is no affordable way for them to attend school outside of their village. Because of this, there is little incentive for a girl in these rural villages to stay in school past sixth grade.
According to the organization, Parent-Teacher Councils (PTCs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are functioning since 1997 to instill a culture of citizen participation, voice and accountability in school management. Although PTCs have been effective to some extent in enhancing community participation in school management there still exist various gaps regarding awareness and capacity of PTC members to conduct procurement-related business and demands that capacity-building initiatives should be implemented on a priority and regular basis where all PTC members participate and their capabilities are enhanced.
Qamar Naseem Program Manager Blue Veins and Education Champion from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Said “ free transportation can support girls at the transitional stage, leading the way in establishing female education as a norm rather than an anomaly. The approved scheme will help mitigates gender imbalances, bolsters individual self-esteem and fosters a greater, more active role for women in society” The impacts of this program will be far-reaching, reverberating across the economy and the futures of women and their families he added.