The tribal districts recently merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) present a very sorry state of affairs when it comes to education. The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that an official report of Education Management Information System (EMIS), directorate of education of the tribal districts, shows that 79 per cent of girls in the tribal areas do not even complete primary schooling. The report is an eye-opener for the provincial government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The report while sharing statistics does not elaborate on the reasons behind the high dropout rate. The reasons are already apparent. Any other exercise in this regard will be just a waste of resources or an attempt to provide a blanket cover to the state failure in educating the population of these districts. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the leader of the parties that vehemently pursued the case of integrating Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with KP arguing that doing so would allow the people of tribal districts to exercise the fundamental rights that constitution of the country gives to the citizens of Pakistan.

Education is one of the fundamental rights that people of the country are entitled to under the constitution. The constitution binds the state to ensure the provision of education as a right to people. The government is yet to take any corrective measure in the tribal districts that are in dire need of government’s intervention in the education sector.

However, the report compiled by EMIS shows a bleak picture of public schools in these districts. The state of public schools in the tribal regions is no different than that of Balochistan. Basic facilities that a school needs for operational purposes like electricity, furniture, drinking water, toilet facilities and boundary walls are missing in most of these schools. To make the matter worse, the teachers’ attitude towards their responsibilities is also of the concern. A significant number of these teachers are either ghost employees or do not attend their classes at all. Despite high numbers of ghost employees, there are some 5000 vacant seats of teachers and technical staff in these districts’ schools.

Unfortunately, the PTI government that is ruling the province for the second consecutive term made a lot of noise as far as revamp of the education sector was concerned. However, the actions of the party were anything but an implementation of a well-thought policy to remove the lacunas in the education sector. The state needs to intervene in the education sector of the tribal districts with a comprehensive plan in hands to control such high dropout rates.