Form-B admission requirement waived off for capital schools

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ISLAMABAD: The government-run educational institutions in the capital have waived off the requirement of Form-B for admission in schools in a major relief for the undocumented children mostly hailing from underprivileged communities, a requirement which had been disproportionately affecting the enrolment rate.

At present, Pakistan has about 26 million children who are out of school despite tallclaims made by the successive government to increase the enrolment rate by incentivising admissions to state-run schools, for example through school meal programmes and free schoolbooks.

According to Education Secretary Mohyuddin Wani, all children in Islamabad regardless of their documentation status will be eligible for admission in the government-run schools in light of the new policy which removes the perquisite of Form-B for enrolment.

`It has come to our attention that the previous requirement of producing Form-B as a condition for admission in federal government schools inadvertently restricted the access to education for underprivileged children. This practice has disproportionately affected vul-nerable populations, including undocumented children,` he said, adding that the decision was aimed at an inclusive education environment.

`Our goal is to ensure that every child has access to quality education, regardless of their background or circumstances.

We believe every child deserves an opportunity to shape their destiny and we are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

This policy correction is a step towards creating a more equitable and just society, where every child can thrive and reach their full potential,` he added.

Evening classes Similarly, the Ministry of Education has decided to start evening shifts in 51 schoolsacross the city, starting with the next academic session.

This aims to address the challenges faced during the enrolment campaign, where many schools saw a significant increase in student numbers, with some primary classes exceeding 50 students per class and reaching a strength of almost 100.

`To ensure quality education and a conducive learning environment, we will upgrade infrastructure in the designated schools and arrange additional honorarium for teachers to support the evening shifts,` he said.

`The evening shifts will help alleviate the pressure on morning classes, providing a better student-to-teacher ratio, and an improved learning experience. We are com-mitted to providing quality education to all students, and this initiative is a significant step towards achieving our goals,` he said.

It may be noted that the schools managed by the Federal Directorate of Education had sought Rs3.5 billion from the federal government in the upcoming budget to complete the renovations of educational institutions under a Rs7.4 billion project.

The project titled `Provision of Basic Educational Facilities in Educational Institutions of ICT` was initiated in 2021 and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government had allocated Rs2 billion for this project in FY23-24 to ensure the smooth flow of work.

Acknowledgement: Published in Dawn News on 13th June 2024.

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