Elementary & Secondary Education Foundation launches drastic initiatives

PESHAWAR: The Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation (ESEF) has made  drastic initiatives in  2021 in not only rebuilding the image of the once stigmatized organization but also making contributions to enrol out-of-school children and ensure transparency.

With the establishment of the new schools the total number climbed to 2,219 with 3172 teachers  appointed to impart education to the 154,650 students including 85,689 girls and 50,961 male students, the report stated.

Digital profiling of 2500 teachers and 117,000 students has been completed so far. Online attendants of 80,000 students are taken on a daily basis.

Also, a tracking system of the passed-out students has been enabled so that the output of the schools could be evaluated and the talented students could be provided opportunities of higher studies.

The foundation has launched the facility of scholarship for the brilliant students of the community schools up to the secondary level.

Another major challenge resolved  was the release of the outstanding salaries of the teachers  withheld for years due to the adverse reports in the media about the foundation.

The three-year liabilities have been cleared and an amount of Rs 630 million has been released to the teachers.

The regular and timely payment of the monthly honorarium of all the teachers has been ensured besides increasing the teachers’ salaries to the minimum wages of Rs 21,000.

At the community schools learning materials, furniture for teachers and textbooks  were provided  with  the use of software.

Iqra Farogh-e-Taleem Voucher Scheme (IFTV) is yet another initiative of the foundation which got a  setback due to media trials a few years back.

The scheme started in 2014 as a special initiative for out-of-school children in low-cost private schools in areas where government schools are not available. But owing to certain irregularities, the scheme failed to yield desired results. Rather the audit paras, distrust and frequent enquiries into the alleged irregularities in the scheme shook the very foundations of ESEF.

However, the new management of the organization streamlined.

IFTVS was revised in 2021 and the  issue of liabilities was taken up.

The data and activities  were digitized. Better monitoring and camera-enabled online attendance was made compulsory to ensure transparency and avoid mishaps

A record number of 40,000 voucher students was uploaded. Payments to partner schools were conditioned with online data of schools to ensure transparency.

Special facility for voucher students of private schools to use facial recognition to ensure 75 per cent attendance.

Owing to the effective performance of the foundation during  2021, the federal government projects of community schools under Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) and the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) were merged with the ESEF.

As many as 1417 schools under these projects have been verified with 55137 students .

In his message about the annual performance of the foundation, the Provincial Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education, Shahram Khan Tarakai said that the ESEF is a blessing for the out-of-school children to enrol them through various schemes like GCS and IFTVS. He said the Government will provide quality education to every child .

Managing Director of the foundation, Zariful Maani, said the ESEF has taken drastic steps during the past couple of years and has become a dynamic organization with the capacity to shoulder the responsibility of approaching the inaccessible areas of the province to reach the ‘out of school’ children, especially girls.

He said the foundation’s team would continue its activities with the same spirit and the Provincial Government would continue to support it for  promotion of education.