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Thursday May 30, 2024

Census of schools and seminaries to complete in fiscal year 2021-22, says Ghani

By Our Correspondent
June 29, 2021

While addressing a press conference at the Sindh Assembly’s auditorium on Monday, Education Minister Saeed Ghani said the annual budget of the school education and literacy department (SELD) for the financial year 2021-22 has been increased from Rs244.5 billion to Rs262.8 billion.

For the fiscal year 2021-22, the SELD development budget is Rs14 billion while Rs4 billion has been allocated for development works of the college education department. According to Ghani, in the coming financial year, the government would focus more on repairing and improving old schools instead of constructing new ones.

“The cabinet has approved the appointment policy 2021 and under this policy, various appointment rules have been amended. More than 37,000 schoolteachers will be appointed through BA. At present, more than 400,000 applications have been received,” he explained.

He added that during the outgoing financial year, more than 30,000 schoolteachers, 1,700 ECE teachers and 6,000 JESTs had been trained in life-based education. In collaboration with various partners, about 3.5 million students had been trained in adolescent health, nutrition, child protection, and citizenship. He said the education department had completed 181 schemes and released 80 per cent of the outgoing year’s budget.

For the year 2021-22, an estimated budget of Rs5 billion has been allocated for the renovation and repair of school buildings and Rs1.2 billion for school management committees to meet the daily needs of schools. For the purchase of furniture and equipment, Rs 7.8 billion has been allocated.

Ghani said the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) was a major part of the Sindh government for public-private partnership in the field of education. It currently provides education to about 475,000 students in 1,800 schools and centres in the province. The foundation is supporting approximately 2,500 talented students with more than 400 new scholarships awarded in 2021. About Rs 10.75 billion has been allocated for the SEF for the financial year 2021-22.

According to the education minister, as many as 15 English medium schools and 14 comprehensive schools would be functioning through the SEF with the help of EMOs in the next academic year. Under the public-private partnership model, 500 to 800 viable government school buildings in poor condition would be made functional.

He said that elementary and secondary schools were present in only 4,000 sub-clusters. In the remaining 2,000 sub-clusters, the government had planned to classify central primary schools as elementary or secondary, he stated, adding that around 100 schools had been upgraded this year to provide post-primary education.

The SEF would add 1,000 elementary or secondary schools in the coming fiscal year, Ghani said. He pointed out that as per Pakistan Social and Living Standards measurement, 6.4 million students were out of school in Sindh while 22.8 million children in Pakistan were out-of-school children. So far, more than 170,000 out-of-school children had been admitted to 6,351 non-formal education centres.

For the financial year 2021-22, about Rs600 million has been earmarked for the inauguration and operation of 3,000 non-formal education centres in Kashmore, Jacobabad, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Tharparkar districts to provide educational opportunities to 90,000 children.

Ghani announced that the census of private schools and madrasas would be completed in the new financial year, which would determine the final number of out-of-school children. In Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Sanghar, Umerkot, Karachi Korangi, Karachi Malir and Karachi West districts, five new and 14 new colleges would be completed in the financial year 2021-22, on which work has been in progress.

The education minister said 19 new degree colleges would be established in the province during the coming financial year. A policy had been formulated, after which the attendance of teachers in schools and the quality of teachers would be improved, he said, adding that a biometric system would be introduced in schools to ensure the attendance of teachers as well as children.