Education secretary told to submit record of foreign funds received

By Jamal Khurshid
May 27, 2024
A view of facade of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — AFP/File

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the school education secretary to submit a comprehensive record of all the funds received from various foreign donors over the past five years.


The direction came on a petition with regard to the non-appointment of schoolteachers and the dilapidated condition of school buildings across the province. A single SHC bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar observed that the additional finance secretary has been directed to submit a progress report about the schedule of new expenditure (SNE) submitted by the school and college education department within two years as well as the fresh SNE about the allocation of seats in the upcoming budget.

The judge said the report would explain the approval, and rejection for return of SNEs with dates. The court observed that the finance secretary has been directed to file a report with regard to the rationalisation of the posts of subject specialists made to the finance department.

The bench took an exception to the non-appearance of the additional finance secretary without prior information, and issued a show-cause notice as well as a directive to the finance secretary to appear in court and provide an explanation for the delay in approving the SNEs submitted by the education department.

The SHC ordered that the SNEs be approved forthwith in accordance with the expedited orders issued by the court to ensure the uninterrupted provision of education which is enshrined as a fundamental right of every citizen.

The education secretary informed the bench that they have issued reminders to the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) regarding requisitions for the posts of the Directorate of Teachers Training Institute; the Directorate of Curriculum, Assessment & Research; the Provincial Institute of Teachers Education; and the Directorate of Planning, Development & Research. The court directed the SPSC chairman to ensure completing the recruitment process within three months.

Regarding compliance with the directions on the Non-Formal Education Authority, the judge was informed that a summary has been moved which is under process.

The education department officer said the department issued strict directions to all the directorates of school education and the district education officers to post newly recruited teachers in viable closed schools where teachers would be retiring in the next four months on a top priority basis.

The court observed that the education secretary would be responsible for the oversight and facilitation of the non-formal educational system, ensuring its operation in compliance with the established legal and regulatory standards.

The education department’s deputy law secretary informed the bench that subject specialist teachers, as recommended by the SPSC, would be issued appointment orders within 15 days. The SHC observed after the perusal of the report that approximately 540 viable closed schools have been opened, and currently 2,769 viable schools are without teachers in Sindh. However, the recruitment process has been restarted.

The high court also issued a notice to the managing director of the Sindh Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority, and directed him to submit a compliance report. The court directed the school education secretary to ensure policy implementation that mandates a minimum service period for newly appointed teachers within their assigned districts.

The bench directed the education department to enforce the policy rigorously, saying that any deviations from the policy should be promptly addressed, and appropriate actions taken. Regarding the affiliation of the four-year Bachelor of Science programme, the designated focal person submitted that 16 colleges have initiated the BS programme. However, he submitted that an obstacle persists due to the affiliation fees levied by the university for government colleges. It was contended that universities are not justified in enforcing the imposition of affiliation fees.

The judge observed that the universities and boards secretary is obligated to promulgate guidelines, accompanied by a notification, and is required to submit a compliance report upon the fulfilment of the aforementioned mandate. The bench directed the chief secretary to ensure adherence to all the directives stipulated in the court orders issued on January 24.