Efforts underway to educate youth bulge of FATA: KP governor


PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra Wednesday said that education plays an important role in creating a prosperous and tolerant society.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the building of Government High School in Hisara, Khyber Agency, the governor said, “In any society, youth is the real agent of change and the youth bulge of FATA is approximately 60 per cent,” adding, “To engage them in healthy activities, efforts are already underway.”

FATA Additional Chief Secretary Sikandar Qayyum, European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain, UNDP Country Director Ignacio Artaza, UNICEF Pakistan Deputy Representative Christian Munduate and SRSP Chief Executive Officer Masoodul Mulk were also present on the occasion.

Jhagra also said that a comprehensive package of social cohesion, income generation and educational activities had been provided to communities in Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai and North Waziristan agencies. “More than 100 schools have already been rehabilitated and 408 teachers have been trained to provide better quality education for our children.” He added, “Taleemi Islahi Jirgas are being formed to advocate for improved services and increased enrolment.”

The governor also pointed out that the FATA secretariat had earmarked Rs4 billion this year for the education sector, however, there were still more than 400 institutions in the area that required urgent rehabilitation and support in teachers training. In addition, he said, the needs and priorities of the frontier regions are also being taken care of in the drafting of development plans, as they also lack basic facilities.

He further said that approximately 200,000 out of school children have been brought back into the regular education system in FATA. “Girls’ enrolment and attendance is also our key priority, and the FATA secretariat remains committed to addressing the specific needs of the girls’ schools with the aim of improving the basic school infrastructure and ensuring the provision of a safe learning environment therein,” he said.