Government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa may suspend classes under the afternoon shift due to teachers reportedly refusing to teach over unpaid salaries.
The provincial education department introduced the second shift classes in September 2021 to promote education and reduce the dropout rate, targeting schools with over 60% enrollment.
Currently, approximately 80,000 to 100,000 students are enrolled in the afternoon classes.
Former education minister Shahram Khan Tarakai stated that the program aimed to provide educational opportunities to children who couldn’t attend regular classes due to various reasons.
However, the program was partially suspended in January 2023 when the previous government ended afternoon classes in 167 primary, middle, and higher secondary schools across different districts. The government also instructed education officers not to demand salaries.
According to the Education Department, there are around 3.2 million out-of-school children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, with a higher dropout ratio among girls. In tribal areas, 97% of girls quit school at the primary level due to lack of permission to attend schools in remote areas.
Reports claim that approximately 8,000 teachers involved in the second shift program have not received salaries for four months. However, the current additional education secretary assured that the necessary funds have been allocated and the employees will soon receive their salaries.
An amount of Rs3.3 million has been released to the relevant deputy commissioners and district education officers, and an investigation will be conducted to determine the delay in salary payments.