Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah issued directives to the school department to decentralize primary school management by handing over financial and administrative authority to grade BS-17 headmasters (HMs). While presiding over the meeting, he ordered the officials to review school development schemes of the department and make efforts to work out the new improved portfolio for the next fiscal year.
The meeting was attended by Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah, Planning and Development (P&D) Chairperson Naheed Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Education Secretary Qazi Shahid Pervez, Finance Secretary Najam Shah, Colleges Secretary Pervez Sihar, P&D Secretary Shireen Narejo, Chief Economist Fatah Tunio and other officials.
The CM said decentralisation of the primary school management and empowering the headmasters with financial and administrative authorities will help to make the most out of the budget allocated for primary school level.
He said, “At present, Rs2 billion of the budget assigned to schools and Rs500 million for innovative initiatives are under the control of the education department. The schools, through their district education officers (DEOs) and directors, keep requesting the department to release their budget.”
Education secretary briefed the CM about the current undertakings. He said 201 schemes, including two new schemes and 199 on-going projects were in progress, with an allocated budget of Rs15.15b. Against this budget, Rs8.28b have been released, while the total expenses by the end of April stood at Rs4.19b.
The department also proposed to launch 149 new schemes in the next Annual Development Programme (ADP). At this, Murad said he would have a very thin chance for the allocation of budget for new schemes. “I am trying to complete the on-going schemes on a priority basis in the next budget,” he added.
The education minister said he had a plan to construct 179 two-roomed buildings for the shelter-less primary schools with an estimated budget of Rs1.16b situated in 19 districts. He also suggested the rehabilitation of 29 primary/elementary school buildings that have a higher proportion of students and learners.
The CM ordered the education department to draft a scheme related to transport facilities that could be provided to students of government schools. This facility should be provided to those schools where different sections such as primary to higher secondary are housed,” he elaborated his point.
Shah also expressed discontentment on the teaching quality at all levels of primary to secondary education. “We must focus on teachers’ training and those [teachers] who have no capacity to teach should be sent to other wings of the education department.”
The education minister suggested to open different job offerings and appoint new music teachers, along with Mathematics, Science, English and other subjects’ teachers in secondary schools. The CM directed the education department to arrange a separate meeting with the finance and P&D department to discuss and include new schemes in the coming budget.