Saturday August 20, 2022

1,500 art and music teachers to be hired for public schools

By Our Correspondent
June 28, 2022

Sindh Education and Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah said on Monday that all the schools that were closed due to a lack of teachers will be reopened on August 1, and that the provincial government has completed the recruitment of 50,000 teachers on the basis of pure merit.

Shah was addressing the budget session of the provincial assembly. He said that the supply of furniture for around a million children will have been completed before August 1. He also said that 56,056 teachers — 38,699 primary schoolteachers and 17,357 junior elementary schoolteachers — are being recruited, adding that over 46,000 of them have been recruited on merit through the Institute of Business Administration after a single testing process.

“The induction training is being conducted for the newly recruited teachers, while 1,200 subject specialist internees, 750 music teachers and 750 art teachers are being recruited.”

He claimed that the number of out-of-school children is not authentic, since it is not as high as reported by the non-governmental organisations working in the province. Of the total 12-13 million children, 4-4.5 million are enrolled at schools, while the remaining are studying at madrasas and in other schooling systems, he said.

Shah said that upgrading schools in terms of infrastructure is the most important. In this regard, he pointed out, 600 schools have been upgraded under the Sindh Early Learning Enhancement Through Classroom Transformation project.

He said that 305 schools under the Annual Development Programme and 20 under the Actions to Strengthen Performance for Inclusive & Responsive Education project have also been upgraded, while 1,085 other schools, including 160 under the Sindh Secondary Education Improvement Project, will be upgraded.

The minister said that for the first time, five science museums will be set up in the Sukkur, Benazirabad, Larkana, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas districts of the province. He said that under the school clustering policy, 1,860 clusters and 6,000 sub-clusters will be formed, in which 60 clusters have been started as a pilot project.

Moreover, the education department’s training institutes — the Sindh Teachers Education Development Authority, the Provincial Institute for Teacher Education, and the Teachers Training Institutions — are being restructured for professional training of teachers, he added.

Shah said that unfortunately, only the teaching profession lacks licences. He said that discussions were held with the British Council, the Board of England, the Aga Khan University and other institutions on teacher licensing, following which a relevant policy was formulated, as Only the educational qualifications of teachers can change the face of society.

The minister lamented that Khawaja Izhar called private schools a mafia, but he cannot give them the title of mafia because even there our own children are getting an education. He said that the law of private schools is a people-friendly one that provides free education to 10 per cent poor children, and access to libraries, laboratories and playgrounds. Private schools have to teach both Urdu and Sindhi, but many do not, he added.

He also said that for the first time they are conducting a census of private schools for the implementation of the Language Act, and he will present all the figures before the House.

Shah said that all the assembly members should own a school each. “If they do so, we’ll have 168 schools that will be the best. Leaving criticisms aside, let’s own schools. There are several stakeholders in the whole education system, but children are missing out because no one ever pays any attention.”

He invited all the PA members to give him a chance to talk in detail about education for a whole day. “All the members are ready to brief me on their concerns as well as the options available.”