PESHAWAR, July 16: As many as 200 high and higher secondary schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are without administrative heads, affecting the overall functioning of these institutions.

The educational institutes running without administrative heads have an adverse impact on thousands of students, officials told Dawn. Among the vacant seats, 26 were principals of higher secondary schools in Grade 19, including 19 male and 7 female, and 160 were headmasters in Grade 18, including 130 male and 31 female, they said.

These seats have been vacant for the last few years. The elementary and secondary education department has been unable to fill the vacancies owing to hurdles in the procedure.

Of the total educational institutions without administra tive heads, seven each are in Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Upper Dir and Mardan, 11 in Swabi, 10 in Kohat, three in Hangu, eight each in Karak and Shangla, 12 in Bannu, two in Lakki Marwat, nine in Dera Ismail Khan, four in Tank, 10 in Abbottabad, 13 each in Haripur and Mansehra, nine in Swat, nine in Buner, 15 in Lower Dir, three in Chitral and six in Malakand.

Commenting on the issue, an educationist, who asked not to be named, told Dawn the ultimate sufferers were the students. “Definitely in the absence of principals and headmasters, teachers in respective schools would not take interest in teaching. In such schools, teachers often avoid taking classes,” said the educationist who has remained principal of different schools.

He said teachers in such schools often violate school timings; they come and leave on their own will.The annual result of such educational institutions was also disappointing, he added. The number of vacant seats of principal and headmasters has been increasing gradually due to upgradation of schools to high and higher secondary level and retirement of principals.

No development works took place in the schools where the seat of the administrative head was vacant, an official said.The buildings of such schools, he said, were in poor condition with broken windows, floors and furniture. Basic facilities like water, fans and others were also missing in such institutions because there was no one to take care of these issues.

When asked how the financial matters of such schools were run, the official said it had been assigned to principals and headmasters of the nearest schools. He further said that for running the school affairs, teachers of an institution make one of the senior teachers as their administrative head.

Additional director of the elementary and secondary education Hakeemullah Khan, when contacted, said several officers in Grade 19 and 18 were working on executive posts like chairman of boards of intermediate and secondary education and executive district officer, education, across the province, causing shortage in the schools.

“We requested the Public Service Commission (PCS) in January 2009 for recruitment of headmasters, including 26 male and 16 female. Due to the lengthy procedure and burden on the PCS, it is yet to recruit the required number of headmasters, he said. (Dawn)

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