JHANG:09 September: Certain officials in headquarters of the National Education Foundation, the governing body of basic education community schools (BECS), in connivance with some local NGOs are encouraging the presence of ghost and non-functional schools by releasing salaries of teachers of such schools.
These schools have already been declared ghost and non-functional following a thorough monitoring carried out by the district staff of BECS and verified by the supervisory teams of the head office.
A source told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that after a mega scandal regarding the presence of ghost schools in Balochistan which surfaced in March last, the foundation’s Punjab head directed deputy directors and district heads working under him to carry out 100 per cent monitoring of BECS to point out non-functional and ghost schools so that they were closed and the salaries of the teachers and staff of such schools be stopped.
In compliance with the orders of the director, a team of the district staff comprising the deputy director (district in-charge), assistance director, assistance field officer and supervisers of various clusters embarked upon a detailed and minute monitoring across the district.
The team discovered one ghost and 13 non-functional schools in the district and submitted its finding to the director’s office.
The presence of the ghost school had already been pointed out to the high-ups by the district staff prior to the general monitoring.
In response to the report submitted by the district monitoring team, the provincial office through a letter declared these schools as non-functional and stopped the salaries of their staff.
In the meanwhile, some NGOs which were running some of these schools sent an application seeking a fresh monitoring of these schools by the officials other than the district staff. Resultantly, a monitoring team from the head office was sent to Jhang for the purpose.
The team after revisiting the district upheld the district body report and sent its findings to the head office.
In spite of the reports of the two monitoring teams, certain elements in the NEF head office in Islamabad, in connivance with the local NGOs, have released the salaries of these schools, including that of the ghost.
BECS Deputy Director in Jhang Syed Ali Raza said salaries of the staff of all non-functional schools had not been released. He said staff of some of the schools declared non-functional during monitoring by the inspectors sent from Islamabad head office was still receiving salaries.
He confirmed that the staff of the only school declared ghost by the monitoring teams also got salaries.Dawn.