Head teachers of 39 schools of merged districts who were also working as secretaries of Parent Teachers Councils (PTS) have received the German Agency International Cooperation (GIZ) award for making efforts to improve learning environment in schools.

This initiative has been selected from over 100 development projects from around the world as best practice for women empowerment.

Minister of elementary and secondary education Shahram Khan Tarakai and GIZ representatives awarded the prizes to 39 head teachers, who were selected from among over 2,200 primary schools in the merged areas in a ceremony.

The event was organised to celebrate contributions by women to development in merged areas.

GIZ’s Fata Development Programme supported 5,000 parent-teacher councils with capacity development, including opening of bank accounts to receive Rs3.6 billion government funds for school improvement under the conditional grant programme funded by the elementary and secondary education department.

Despite difficult circumstances, female parent-teacher councils in girls’ schools of merged areas greatly helped improve learning standards in schools.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Tarakai appreciated the contribution of female teachers to improving education standards in merged areas. He said these bodies had helped build additional classrooms, toilet blocks, boundary walls and play areas in schools, besides hiring local teachers there.

Dr Peer Gatter, head of Fata Development Programme, congratulated the head teachers on their outstanding achievements, and said education, especially girls’ education, was of utmost importance for sustainable development of merged areas.

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