Illegal Occupied Schools in District Mardan

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Problem Statement:

meeting with MNA NA 09 Mardan  disscusing illegal occupied schools issues

The very scale of Pakistan’s education sector presents formidable challenges.

Pakistan’s participation

rates remain the lowest in South Asia and there are wide male-female, inter-regional and rural-urban disparities:

The situation in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa are even worst as certain other challenges at grass root level have discouraged the growth in the field of education. there are countless reasons which hinders access to better education at each level that include low enrollment, high dropout ratio, lack of qualified and dedicated teaching faculties, lack of educational facilities, weak policies and then its poor implementation/enforcement, lack of interest on the part of parents, teachers, education administration, socio cultural and gender disparities etc.
interface meeting on illegal occupied schools Meeting with teachers union on illegal occupied school

Education has been regarded as the back bone in a nation building and prosperity of a country, but the situation becomes very much discouraging when ones observes that in addition to the above mentioned challenges that the education department faces today, there is another challenge of Illegally Occupied Schools in Distract Mardan.

While interacting with DGG, one of its members named Muhammad Kamran highlighted the issue that there are number of schools being constructed by government have been occupied by land donors for their personal demands and these schools are non-functional for the last many years. There are seven schools


Causes
:
which were identified as Illegally Occupied Schools (ILS) which include three government primary schools for girls and 4 primary schools for boys. The statuses of these schools remain close for more than 15 years.

There are some reasons behind this issue:

  1. Appointment of Land Donor or his family member as Class IV
  2. Undue interference to Elected Representatives/Clash between ER and Education Department
  3. Demand for appointment of teacher as per the well of Land Donor
  4. Weaknesses/Helplessness on the part of Education Department regarding policy formulation and its enforcement

Effects:

Children of school going age are suffering from illiteracy. Even children who dare to go to schools situated in other communities, they are very few and again after certain period of time, they discontinue their studies. Discontinuation on the part of girl s

tudents is much higher than on the part of boys students. Children become vulnerable to different social/cultural evils and become burden for their family and community

Similarly the huge investment of government goes useless and becomes wastage of resources.

Identification of Relevant Actors:

MNA NA 09 disscusing the issues of the illegal occupied schools

The enforcement environment on the part of education department is extremely week due to the following reasons

  1. Influence of the Land Donors
  2. Interference of Elected Representatives
  3. Irresponsible/biased attitude of Police Department
  4. Lack of Government interest/support to education department.
  5. Lack of proper and effective enforcement mechanism

 

Advocacy Options:

Enforcement of agreement between land donor and Education Department or Elected Representative

Advocacy for change in the policy regarding provision of free of cost land for constructing schools. There is day to day increase in land prices lead to problems in the urban area.

Advocacy for the current situation in the district

Strategy Options:

  • Letters to Education Departments
  • Letter to DCO
  • Meetings/ engagement with all stack holders.
  • FGDs with land donors
  • Media.

Setting Advocacy Goals:

  • To make the IOS schools functional.
  • To motivate district education department for influencing the policy makers at provincial level for brining changes in the existing policy of construction of schools.
  • Identification of Allies and Opponents:

Allies:

  • Education Department
  • Community
  • Elected Representatives

Opponents:

  • Land donor
  • Elected Representatives

Implementation Advocacy Initiative:

  • Advocacy campaign shall be initiated from letters to Education Department and DCO Mardan.
  • Interface meetings will be made with Land donor, Elected Representatives and concern department.
  • Media campaign
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