Govt to revive non-formal schools
* Up to 72,000 schools to be set up at a cost of Rs 12 billion
By Irfan Ghauri
ISLAMABAD: The Education Ministry has decided to revive the Non-Formal Basic Education Schools (NFBES) project, which will cost Rs 12 billion.
According to sources, the PC-I for the plan is ready for submission to the National Economic Council’s executive committee for approval. Under the project, over 72,000 non-formal schools would be set up countrywide.
The plan for setting up 82,000 home-based schools was initiated under the Prime Minister’s Literacy Commission in 1995. These schools were to be set up in areas where there were no separate primary schools for girls.
The project which was designed to provide learning opportunities to children out-of-school, received a major set back when teachers were not paid salaries on time and students did not get learning-material.
Of 82,000 schools, only ten thousand had been set up, but even those did not function properly due to lack of funds
The Planning Commission had declared the NFBES project as dead, sick and slow moving in May 2005 and recommended the authority concerned to abandon the project. However, the education minister called a meeting on the project and termed it a “powerful catalyst” for enhancing literacy and expressed concern over the commission’s recommendations.
He directed the project director to revise the PC-I and submit it to the commission. “Under the revised PC-I, an untrained teacher with matriculation would get a minimum salary of Rs 3,000 per monthly while those with intermediate and graduation would get Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,000,” he said.