Nabi Jan Orakzai

PESHAWAR: After criticism from various quarters on relaxing educational qualification for filling vacant teaching posts in tribal districts, Adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Elementary and Secondary Education (ESED) Ziaullah Bangash has clarified that preference will be given to highly-qualified candidates while filling teaching posts.

He said if no application is received from highly-qualified candidates, then matric-level candidates will be appointed on vacant teaching seats as a compulsion.

In an interview with TNN, Ziaullah Bangash said Prime Minister Imran Khan and KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan had issued special instructions about improvement of education standard in tribal districts. He said the KP government has allocated Rs.22 billion for development of education sector in merged districts.

“This fund will be utilized for providing missing facilities in schools, re-construction of damaged schools, construction of new schools according to feasibility reports, providing scholarships to students and re-construction of 21 higher and higher secondary schools,” he said.

The CM’s adviser said the government is fully focused on development of tribal districts. He said the government is hiring 5,000 new teachers to address the problem of shortage of teachers.

“Staff at schools will be increased gradually with increased enrolment. At present, we received a demand of hiring of 5,000 new teachers and we have sanctioned these posts,” he said.

Mr Bangash said people were often raising the issue of limited job opportunities in merged districts and appointment of outsiders on vacant posts. “The KP government has taken a decision in consultation with the people of merged districts that non-local people will not be appointed on vacant posts in tribal districts. Only the local candidates will be appointed on vacancies on union council level. I am confident that there are a lot of qualified candidates in tribal districts,” he said.

The adviser said graduate and highly qualified candidates will be selected on priority basis. “If B.A passed candidates are not available, then the Education Department will prefer F.A passed local candidates. It will enable the local unemployed youth to get jobs. In case of non-availability of F.A passed candidates, the government will hire matric passed candidates in junior scale (BPS-7) and they will continue their education and training to get higher teaching grades,” he said.

He made it clear that the government has no intention to hire only the matric passed candidates. “B.A candidates will be the first priority, and if graduate candidates are not available then the second priority will be F.A candidates and matric candidates will come under last priority,” he said.