KARACHI: Reviewing the progress of the education department’s different projects during a meeting on Thursday, Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah directed the department to investigate the illegal appointments of teachers on district level and report back to him.
“I will not allow any illegal entry in the teaching cadre. I need the best teachers appointed through the National Testing Service,” the CM said. The meeting, held at CM House, was attended by Planning and Development Department Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and Chairperson Muhammad Waseem, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, School Education Secretary Aziz Uqaili, College Education Secretary Parvaiz Seehar and other officers.
Dahar informed the CM that the salaries of 3,700 teachers have been stopped for want of verification of their credentials. “Despite repeated notices issued through the national press, hardly 16 teachers have submitted their documents,” he said.
The CM directed the education secretary to inquire into the matter and register an FIR against those involved in fraud in and forgery of recruitment orders. “I will not compromise on merit and quality in the education sector,” he said, adding that the future of the country, particularly of Sindh, lies in education and it is our collective responsibility to work vigilantly and honestly.
Uqaili, while briefing the CM, said that six different foreign funded projects are in progress in education sector. These are the World Bank-funded Sindh Education Reform Programme SERP-I/II, the $66 million Sindh Global Partnership for Education that is being funded by the World Bank, European Union and other donors, the Sindh Education Sector Support Programme (SESP), Sindh Basic Education Programme (SBEP), Capacity Building of Teachers Training Institutes and Training of Elementary School of CIDA and Girls Elementary School of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Speaking about SERP-I/II projects, the secretary said the projects have a cost of $355.04 million and $321.43 million respectively. The SESSP focuses on education governance, access and quality, for which the European Union extended 25.5 million euros as budgetary support in 2015-2016, while 50 million euros are committed under the upcoming programme.
The SBEP project is $155 million USAID funded project. Under the project 106 schools are being constructed. Other components of the project are Sindh Reading Programme, Community Mobilisation Programme, Sindh Capacity Development Programme and Architectural and Engineering Support. The Sindh government also financed this project at the cost of Rs1.02 billion.
The meeting was informed that under the SBEP programme, 106 schools are being constructed in seven districts. So far, 16 schools have been completed while work on 63 others is in progress. The education secretary said that out of 16 completed schools, nine have been handed over to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to functionalise them, which are located in different villages of Khairpur and Sukkur districts. Ten more schools will be handed over by the end of this month.
Briefing the CM on Rs1.3 billion CIDA project, the secretary said that 1,016 headmasters have been trained under the programme. A three-week training programme for 1,000 headmasters started in this month, which will be completed in October. A three-week training programme is being started to train 700 newly promoted headmasters and four-week training programme for other 700 headmasters promoted from subject specialist would be launched started. Over 3,416 headmasters would be trained under the programme, he said.
Through JICA programme, primary girls’ schools in rural areas will be upgraded to elementary level. This two-phase programme was originally approved in 2013 for Rs2 billion, in which JICA was contributing Rs1.66 billion while Sindh government’s share is Rs409 million. The programme would be completed by June 2019. The other objectives of the programme include solving rural-urban disparities and develop elementary schools for girls in districts.
According to the secretary, out of 54 schools, 29 have been completed and handed over, while 25 are under construction. Ten schools have been completed in Mirpurkhas, two in Hyderabad, six in Jamshoro, three in Benazirabad, six in Badin and two in Tando Allahyar.
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