The Sarhad Rural Support Programme has got admitted 1,600 out-of-school children to schools against a target of 1,000 students during 2015 in the selected five villages of Chitral, Tariq Ahmed, SRSP district programme manager, claims.

He was speaking at a meeting of the volunteers working in the targeted villages under the ‘take a child to school’ (TACS) project financed by the British Council, here the other day.

Mr Ahmed said that the mohalla education committees set up in all the five villages of Birir (Kalash valley), including Jughur, Drosh, Sanik and Garam Chashma, actively helped identity the out-of-school children while the volunteers contacted their parents to persuade them.

Appreciating the efforts of the volunteers, he expressed the hope that 100 per cent of the out-of-School children in the villages would be in schools by next year. He said more villages would be targeted if the project was expanded.

The volunteers said they faced little resistance from the parents in pursuing them to send their children to school. They said in most households, the out-of-school children were helping their parents in farming, and it was a challenge to make them (parents) to send their children to school.

The mohalla education committees, they said, helped the parents find alternative ways and means for generating income.

The coordinator of TACS project, Ebadur Rahman, and project manager of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Salahuddin, highlighted some of the issues faced while enrolling the students.

Deputy district education officer Ehsanul Haq appreciated the progress of the project and said that the state was duty-bound under article 25-A of the constitution to provide free education to children up to 16 years of age. He asked for extending the project to more areas of the district.