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June 20, 2017

Govt to reopen 2,000 schools with private sector’s help


June 20, 2017

As many as 2,000 closed schools would be reopened in Sindh in collaboration with the private sector, and the involvement of the civil society is much needed in this regard, said the provincial education and literacy minister on Monday.

Chairing a meeting of representatives of non-governmental organizations, Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar claimed that more than 2,000 closed schools had been reopened across the province to date. 

The meeting was attended by school education secretary Abdul Aziz Uquaili, Reform Support Unit chief manager Faisal Uquaili, Sindh Education Foundation managing director Naheed Shah Durrani, the directors of the Institute of Business Administration of Karachi and Sukkur, adviser to president Dr Amanat Jalbani and representatives of the Indus Resources Centre, Szabist, Akhuwat, The Citizens Foundation and Aga Khan education service.

The participants discussed how to make the closed schools functional. It was observed that the majority of such schools were in remote areas, so it was feasible to hire local staff there to reopen them. 

They said stressed that drastic measures should be taken to improve the performance of teachers through an efficient monitoring system.

It was also decided that the education department would email a list of the closed schools to the stakeholders so that they might choose the school of their choice.

Dahar asked the relevant quarters to improve the environment at schools and develop a mechanism to enhance the quality of education in remote areas. 

He also asked the private sector to come forward to sort out the issues and improve education in the province.

Budget increased

Earlier this month, the Sindh government increased the education budget for 2017-18 by a massive 24 percent, raising it to Rs202.2 billion from Rs163.7 billion in the current fiscal year.

Unveiling the education budget for the upcoming financial year in the Sindh Assembly on June 5, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah observed that critics may say that the increase appeared to be largely driven by the higher salary component.

However, he claimed that the increase in the non-salary component of the education sector was much higher and had been increasing over the past few years.

He was of the view that in this day and age where extremist ideologies and terrorist threats from without and within are running rife in our society, education is our only hope.

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