PAKISTAN: Durrani decides to ban corporal punishment in NWFP schools
Daily Times, April 20, 2005

PESHAWAR: NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani on Monday decided to ban corporal punishment in education institutions in the province.

He said this while talking to Dr Omer Abdi, UNICEF representative for Pakistan and Chief Provincial Officer Osama Makkawi Khogali. The UNICEF representatives agreed to increase the agency’s funding for the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government’s education reforms. UNICEF had a global voice and could persuade donors to help the MMA government accomplish such reforms, they said.

The chief minister said the government favoured banning corporal punishment in educational institutions and also supported student character building, training students and the participation of parents to educate their children.

The government had planned to invest billions of rupees in education, thus making it the base for national progress, he said, adding the MMA was committed to providing education for all. It had started a quality education programme that would be accomplished through the collective effort of all stakeholders, he said, adding the system of monitoring and supervision would also be strengthened. Durrani requested a joint meeting of UNICEF and the provincial education department to consider recommendations that would form the base for future education policy. The chief minister was told that education reforms, the provision of infrastructure in educational institutions, the development of schools and meeting the provinces’ future educational requirements would cost Rs 100 billion.

He said around 470 schools had been identified where quality education would be provided. The chief minister said there were no two opinions on the government’s desire to promote education. He said there would be free education up to matric level, the provision of free books to primary school students, free books to females up to matric and said next year there would be the provision of free books to all male and female students up to matric throughout the province. The new arrangements would bring a huge increase in the education budget and as a result, donors should support the government’s reforms, he said. He also referred to the government’s future plan to provide uniform and stipends to poor students.

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