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February 11, 2020

Ghani seeks help of teachers and students to improve education sector


February 11, 2020

Recently appointed Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said on Monday that he alone can do nothing (to improve the education sector of the province), so he requires the assistance of officials, teachers and students of public schools and colleges.

Ghani, who also holds the labour portfolio, was attending the morning assembly at his alma mater, namely the Government Degree College of Commerce & Economics.

The minister said that the assembly of students at 8:30am had been made a compulsory feature for public colleges in line with the pattern of government schools across Sindh. He said he will try to visit a public college in the province every day to attend its morning assembly.

“If I were given the option to go back to a past phase of my life, I would choose the college era of my life because the four years spent at college are the best years of life.” He said the Government College of Commerce & Economics was his own, as his spirit was associated with the institution. He said he chose to visit his alma mater’s morning assembly to formally start his responsibilities as education minister.

Ghani said he was very pleased to visit his alma mater, adding that he had come to visit the institution along with his old friends from his college days.

At one point in his address during the morning assembly of the college, he became emotional and started weeping, following which senior faculty members and his friends from college days came to his support.

He made a commitment with the college’s students that despite several challenges in the arena of education, he will try his best to turn their institution exemplary in the shortest possible time.

The minister said he had directed the secretary of the college education and directorate general colleges and other senior education department officials to attend morning assemblies at colleges on a daily basis and provide him with video evidence their visits.

He said that in the first phase, public schools across the province that have more than 80 per cent student enrolment will be turned into model institutions. He added that the issue of infrastructure of public schools and colleges will also be resolved soon.

Low enrolment

Later, presiding over a meeting at the Directorate of College Education, Ghani was informed that Sindh’s 327 public colleges have an enrolment of 357,161, with Karachi’s 147 institutions having an enrolment of 198,975, and the province has 153 private colleges, 138 of which are in the city.

The meeting was informed that public colleges across the province have been facing shortage of furniture to conduct their academic activities, and the current provincial budget contains six development projects for the purpose.

The annual maintenance and repair budget for public colleges is merely Rs225 million, which is too low compared to the existing plight of the educational institutions, and a summary has been prepared to increase this budget.

Expressing concern over low student enrolment at public colleges across the province, the education minister ordered using all the available resources to increase the numbers. He said colleges should start special evening classes to enrol students who work during the day.

Ghani said the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi and Sukkur will conduct recruitment tests for vacancies in the college education department from grade 5 to grade 15, while the vacancies of grade 17 and above will be filled through the Sindh Public Service Commission.