KARACHI: The Sindh government had set the budget of the education department for schools, colleges and maintenance and repair at Rs 21 billion in 2021. Out of this amount, Rs 12 billion was released and Rs 8.2 billion has been spent, so far.
“We have shuttered the schools, of which chances of revival were very low while out of 2247 around1609 schools which were closed due to shortage of teachers have been reopened. The remaining 638 schools would be functionalized in the ongoing fiscal year” said Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani.
The minister expressed these views while participating in the pre-budget debate in the Sindh Assembly on Friday. He claimed that the statistics and facts are quite the opposite while the work done by the education and labor departments is historic.
Ghani maintained that we are being criticized for the quality of education department, but the ground facts and evidence testify that Sindh is the only province which has faced the same kind of difficulties especially during the last two years. “We have taken historic steps to make education better. More tangible steps were in terms of online education as compared to other provinces”
He said; “we, in collaboration with Microsoft, have made it possible to extend online to school level in Sind. Even now 257,000 students are benefiting from it and we have also provided training to 30,787 secondary teachers”
At the same time, under the Sindh Education Foundation’s Microsoft online program, around 252000 children across the province are studying online. Likewise, more than 4000 primary school teachers have been trained to provide education to these children.
Saeed Ghani said that this year, 70 percent of the education department released budget has been spent on colleges and schools, while 55% of M&R released budget has been utilized. He said that out of 269 ongoing schemes of schools, 155 schemes including 1993 schools would be completed by June, while out of 69 schemes of the college, 24 schemes would be completed in the current financial year, under which 29 colleges and 2 cadet colleges will be completed.
Saeed Ghani said that some quarters of the society criticized us for the lack of furniture in schools while the fact is that the stay order was imposed by the esteemed judiciary in this regard for the last two years. But in April the stay order was expired, after which tenders have been issued.
“We need 1.6 million desks across the province and this is not possible in a few months. However, we will be able to ensure the availability of furniture at schools by this financial year and the beginning of the next financial year,” he said.
He said that we have signed MoU with IBA Sukkur for recruitment of 37 thousand new teachers on merit and applications have been submitted for the recruitment of PST teachers this year. However, at present due to the Covid-19 situation IBA could not hold exams.
He said that in order to improve the quality of education, the grade of PST teachers has been uplifted from 9 to 14, while now when primary teachers are recruited they will be recruited as primary teachers and will also be retired as primary teachers.
He said that for the training of teachers, we have made arrangements for the institutes across the province to get admission on merit under public-private partnership and get certificates on 100% merit so that qualified teachers could be available at each school.