Sindh Education and Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah has earnestly requested the members of the Sindh Assembly to not send him any recommendation regarding transfer and posting of any teacher associated with the government-run educational institutions in the province, particularly colleges.
Speaking during the question hour of the Sindh Assembly’s sitting on Monday, the education minister conceded that there had been a shortage of teachers in the government-run colleges in rural areas of the province.
He said that every other influential person would send a recommendation to the provincial government for the transfer of a college lecturer posted in a rural area to an urban centre. He informed the legislators that there were 335 government-run colleges in the province but they were not enough and more colleges were required to be established in the province.
Answering a question of opposition legislator of the Grand Democratic Alliance Nusrat Seher Abbasi, the education minister said that at the moment, he could not make a claim that all the government colleges in the province had the required facilities.
He added that a lesser number of students enrolled in any educational institution did have a negative effect in this regard as the academic facilities fell into disrepair due to continual disuse.
He informed the concerned MPAs that he was more focused on the state of the government-run schools in the province but even then, he would do his best to make sure that all the required facilities remained available in the colleges too.
Shah said that he would only invite the concerned opposition legislators to visit colleges in the province once he was able to arrange all the required facilities there. Facilities had to be enhanced at the government-run schools to make sure that the enrolment did not get decreased, he added.
He said the provincial government had the intention of establishing more colleges in the rural areas instead of upgrading the existing educational institutions there to grant them the status of higher secondary schools.
Later, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Haleem Adil Shaikh, who is also the leader of the opposition in the House, said he had received information that some 10,000 schools were being closed in the province. He asked the education minister to verify that.
The PTI MPA lamented that the Sindh government had refused to adopt the recently unveiled uniform school curriculum as it was against the concept of the class-based education system in the country where children of the poor and rich families studied different things. Responding to the point of order, the education minister said that there were 7,000 buildings in the province originally built for the purpose of housing an educational institution but they were located in such an area where additional government-run schools were not required.
He conceded that certain such buildings were being used to house livestock or as Autaq of feudal landlords of the area.
He said the Sindh government had planned to discontinue use of such buildings for running schools in order to lessen the burden on the national exchequer. Shah said the education department would identify such buildings where the presence of the school was no more required. He added that recommendations would be sent to the government to convert these buildings into basic health units.
He said that in the past one-room primary schools had been established in the province but a single room was unable to accommodate up to five classes at a time. There were 47,000 government-run schools in the province and 39,000 of them had been imparting primary education, he stated, adding that in the past regime of Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim as the chief minister, up to 64 schools had been built in a single village.
On the single curriculum, the education minister remarked that the single national curriculum imposed in the country had no constitutional basis and it meant to further the manifesto of the ruling party as students under the new curriculum were being asked to read the performance of the PTI’s federal government.
He claimed that Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had also conceded that the single national curriculum had been imposed in the country hastily.
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