KARACHI: A delegation comprising the chief of NGO Durbeen, academic experts from University of Helsinki met Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House on Saturday to brief him about their initiative to run a government-run teachers’ education college in Karachi.
The delegation comprised Durbeen’s CEO, Ms Salma A. Alam, the Vice-Rector of the Government Elementary College of Education (GECE), Hussainabad, Aamna Pasha and Durbeen’s academic partners and experts from University of Helsinki, Finland.
Earlier this year, the Government of Sindh had handed over the management of a teacher training institute, the Government Elementary College of Education (GECE), Hussainabad to Durbeen, a non-profit organization working to improve public sector education in Pakistan. Given the pressing need to improve the quality of new government school teachers, Sindh chief minister had launched the partnership under his patronage in March 2019 and announced it to be the flagship programme in Sindh for teachers’ education. The delegation briefed the chief minister on the progress of the programme, which also includes a free of cost, 4-year B.Ed. (Hons) degree for women. Durbeen guarantees teaching jobs to successful graduates by offering conditional jobs to students at the time of joining the college. CEO Durbeen, Ms Salma A. Alam said the initiative is aimed to achieve high-quality graduates to serve government schools, thereby improving their academic standards.
Over the last three months, Durbeen has renovated and refurbishing the campus, digitised the administration and carefully curated a panel of foreign qualified teacher educators for the first year of B.Ed. (Hons) classes to begin from August 2019. To further improve academic standards, Durbeen partnered with leading University of Helsinki, Finland. Experts from this university are now training the faculty members of the Government Elementary College of Education (GECE) which is also improving its existing 4-year B.Ed. curriculum. The delegation was also joined by Shehzad Roy, President of Durbeen’s sister organisation, Zindagi Trust. Speaking on private sector's intervention for improving quality of public schools, Shehzad Roy cited the example of Muhammad Ali Tabba a major donor of Durbeen and Zindagi Trust. Tabba believes cutting-edge programmes providing free higher education to girls cannot be sustainable without the private sector’s support.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said he was pleased with the progress of the college and asked them to ensure that maximum number of intermediate and A-level qualified young women apply for admission so the public education system in Sindh might finally have a much-needed talent pool of highly qualified teachers ready for service in the government schools. Secretary, Sindh Education and Literacy Department, Qazi Shahid Pervaiz, shared his view from a recent visit to the college and expressed strong interest in having this internationally benchmarked programme replicated in the remaining 29 teacher training institutes of Sindh.