ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Education has directed the Ministry of Education to arrange special stipends for those students who have lost their homes in floods.
In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Senator SM Zafar, the committee also directed the ministry to collect details of students and teachers who have lost their lives in the recent calamity. The committee was informed that 11,474 public educational institutes were damaged across the country due to the floods, which require Rs 13,939 million for rehabilitation.
The Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal reported a loss of Rs 140.8 million to its infrastructure due to floods. The committee underlined the need for restoring the damaged infrastructure in the flood-hit areas on urgent basis to save the future of young generation.
It observed that special funds would be required to overcome the calamity and both the federal and provincial governments should make coordinated efforts to overcome the challenge.
Makeshift arrangements should be made in areas where schools have been washed away by floods, the committee suggested. Access to textbooks at all levels should be made available to children of all grades in the shortest possible time and there should be a mechanism to monitor it.
The construction of school buildings will take much longer, it is important that all children from all localities should be allowed to seek entry in any school near or at the temporary shelter and government should allocate funds for engaging additional teachers in those schools, the committee recommended.
The displacement of teachers resulted in shortage of teachers and efforts must be carried out to reach these displaced teachers and provide relief to them. The committee was of the view that the assessment of the damages caused to the private sectors should also be made to get a clear picture of the situation in floods devastated areas. It was informed that World Bank was carrying out assessment of the damages caused to the education sector which will finalised its report till October 15.
The committee expressed its desire to convene another meeting to discuss the details of the report next month.The meeting also stressed the need for better coordination between the government and civil society organisations to expedite process of rebuilding damaged infrastructure of educational institutes. NGOs such as Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) and Karwan-e-Ilm should be encouraged to come forward for support in the struggle for the rehabilitation and continuation of education in emergency situation.
The meeting was attended by Senators Dr Saeeda Iqbal, Suriya Amirauddin, Hafiz Rashid Ahmad, Prof Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Deputy Chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali, Rehana Yahya Baloch, Nilofar Bakhtiar, Begum Najma Hameed and Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali.