LAHORE: The ANP-PPP coalition government in the KP province enrolled more than twice the number of children in primary and secondary schools during their five year government between 2008-13 compared to the number of children enrolled by the PTI-JI government between 2014-18.
The revelations have come after the release of the KP primary and secondary education department’s annual census for the year 2017-18.
According to the census, despite their tall claims of having prioritised education in their tenure, the PTI-led government has managed to enroll a total of 218,151 new students in primary and secondary schools. The ANP government, on the other hand, had much more success in enrolment, having gotten a total of 573,492 new students to school.
The education department’s annual reports, which record data such as enrollment, number of teachers and facilities, is released every year and the latest report has given us an apple-to-apple comparison of how the two successive governments have fared in the field of primary and secondary education.
Some difference between the PTI and the ANP’s numbers can be accounted for because the PTI was only in government for four of the academic years for which the department has calculated the numbers.
The report is published on October 31 every year, and the data for October enrollment in 2013 is treated as data for the previous year since new enrollment in government schools occurs in March/April. The PTI government came to power in Mid-June 2013. Meanwhile, the ANP was in power during the entirety of five academic years.
However, there is still a significant gap between the two governments’ performances, with the ANP enrolling 355,341 more children than the PTI – with the difference being more than the number of children the PTI enrolled in schools.
The average rate at which children were enrolled every year is also telling, with the ANP’s annual enrollment average again being more than twice the average enrollment rate of the PTI. According to the report, the ANP enrolled 114, 698 students every year they were in power while the PTI enrolled 54,538 children for every year they were in government.
“We are truly living in a post-fact, post-truth era where fake news dominate and shape public perception” said Dr Muhammad Saleem, a developmental economist based in KP.
“Public opinion is being formed by fake news which translates to votes on voting day” he went on to add.
“For example, in KP, public perception about ANP is that it is anti-education while PTI is pro-education. This is despite the fact ANP has made more universities in its tenure than the PTI. Same is the case in performance of ANP vs PTI regarding improving primary & secondary education.”
The news comes on the heels of other education related scandals that the PTI government has had to face in KP without much consequences. Back in October 2017, Pakistan Today had reported that irregularities in the PTI government’s higher education stats when they lied about the number of universities they had formed in their tenure – another aspect in which the ANP government outdid them in its tenure. In May 2018, Pakistan Today had again reported discrepancies between the PTI’s higher education stats and the HEC.
This is also not the first time that the primary and secondary education department’s numbers have spelled trouble for the PTI in KP. The party had also been caught in a foot-in-mouth moment when in February 2017, Pakistan Today discovered that they had been spreading false stats on their social media handles which contradicted reports of the education department.