Friday February 03, 2023

Govt alone can't rebuild schools infrastructure after flood devastation: Sardar Shah

Sindh minister said UNICEF helped the provincial government set up over 2,000 temporary learning centres

October 30, 2022
Sindh minister Sardar Shah at a meeting with the UNICEF delegates in Karachi on October 29, 2022. Twitter
Sindh minister Sardar Shah at a meeting with the UNICEF delegates in Karachi on October 29, 2022. Twitter

The Sindh government cannot single-handedly rebuild the infrastructure of schools destroyed as a result of the masssive flooding, said Sindh minister for culture, tourism and antiquities, Syed Sardar Shah

Therefore, he said, the provincial government needs  the assistance from the world community to rebuild the destroyed schools in the province. 

Chairing a meeting with the UNICEF delegation on Saturday, the Sindh minister said that the world community should come forward to help reestablish the educational activities for the flood-hit children.  

He asserted that there are qualified educators eager to impart knowledge to young people in a variety of settings.

The Sindh minister appreciated UNICEF, saying the global agency for children's rights has helped set up over 2,000 temporary learning centres in the affected areas.

Shah said that students in the flood-affected areas in the province need 20,000 tent classrooms in order to continue their academic activities. The government doesn't deem it wise to use the flood-weakened structures for educational purposes for the safety of children, Sardar Shah said.

According to him, the provincial government needs to pay attention to other issues like children's psychological issues, child protection, and nutritional deficiencies.

The UNICEF delegates, including Global Director Education UNICEF headquarters Robert Jenkins, Regional Education Advisor UNICEF ROSA Peter De Vries, and Chief Education UNICEF Pakistan Ellen Van Kalmthout, attended the meeting at a local hotel in Karachi.

Chief Field Office Unicef Sindh Prem Bahadur Chand, Education Specialist Unicef Sindh Asif Abrar, Secretary School Education and Literacy Department of Sindh Ghulam Akbar Laghari, Junaid Hameed Samoo Chief Program Manager RSU, and all SELD wing heads were also in attendance.

At the meeting, the participants were briefed on the overall food emergency response and the data on damaged schools in Sindh. The meeting was also briefed about the initial details of the Sindh education department's survey of schools in the province post floods. UNICEF Pakistan offered technical support for the survey.

The UNICEF delegates said the children had to witness this situation for the first time and they are facing several social and psychological issues.

Robert Jenkins appreciated the department of school education's timely efforts. In addition, he applauded the flood loss survey. He said the first priority should be to restore education after the children return to their areas.