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June 20, 2021

Education of 2.3m children in Sindh discontinued after grade 5, says PTI MPA

June 20, 2021

Education of 2.3m children in Sindh discontinued after grade 5, says PTI MPA

An opposition lawmaker told the Sindh Assembly on Saturday that there were 2.3 million children in the province whose education discontinued after they passed grade 5.

Taking part in the general discussion in the House on the newly-presented Sindh budget, female legislator of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Rabia Azfar Nizami claimed that Sindh's literacy rate was even lower than Balochistan.

She said that up to 100,000 children in the province were being used for beggary.

The opposition MPA lamented that the e-learning project in Sindh had not come out of the state of infancy despite the passage of several years. She added that furniture had not been purchased for the government-run schools in Sindh for the last eight years.

There were 29 teacher training institutions in Sindh but only two of them were functional, the PTI MPA said, adding that educational standards were virtually non-existent in Sindh.

She suggested that a licensing authority be established in Sindh to check the qualifications of the teachers after every three years. The examination boards in Sindh were yet to be paid the required funds by the government as the chief minister had no time to respond to the letters sent by the boards in this regard, she claimed.

Moazzam Abbasi, a lawmaker of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), said his hometown Larkana had no system for drainage of wastewater and sewage was being mixed with the subsoil water that was used for human consumption.

He said no master plan was ever implemented to upgrade Larkana city. He was of the view that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would have to face tough time if he opted to contest the next general elections from Larkana because of the pathetic civic conditions of the city.

PTI MPA Arsalan Taj said the recent budget speech by the Sindh chief minister was nothing but a pack of lies. He added that the Sindh government had failed to collect taxes as in the current fiscal year, it collected Rs102 billion less revenue than the previous year.

He claimed that the Sindh government had been facing mere nine per cent shortage in federal transfer of revenue but its own shortfall in tax collection had increased to 30 per cent.

The graph of Sindh's own revenue collection had been going down with each passing year, Taj stated. He said the collection of agricultural tax in Sindh was merely Rs410 million and in contrast, Rs850 million were collected alone on account of traffic fines.

He said Sindh collected merely Rs190 million on account of land revenue while Rs990 million was collected under the head of general sales tax on services.

GDA MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi said the Sindh Bank had emerged as a loss-making entity in the province as every year Rs2 billion was paid by the government to overcome its fiscal deficit. He alleged that the cronies of the rulers in Sindh were involved in embezzling Sindh Bank's public money.

He urged the chief justice of Pakistan to order an inquiry into the shadowy affairs of the Sindh Bank.

The GDA lawmaker said the achievement of the Sindh government in the education sector was nothing more than constructing school buildings. He claimed that lately none of the successful candidates of the elite Central Superior Services examinations belonged to Sindh.

He demanded that the government announce at least one ambulance for his native district or else he would not sit in the assembly and continue to stand to register his protest.

To this, Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla offered to the GDA MPA that he could bring an ambulance outside the House for the personal transportation of him if he desired so.

Later, the deputy speaker issued an order to switch off the microphone of the opposition lawmaker that led to a commotion.

PTI MPA Raja Azhar said the government-run schools were in bad condition in his constituency in Karachi.

The House will continue its general debate on the new provincial budget for the third day on Monday.