CM for using public-private partnership to reopen 2,000 schools

Karachi:May 12:Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday said education reforms remain a high priority for his government, which is why a multi-pronged approach must be adopted to provide access to schooling to the burgeoning number of out-of-school children.
Presiding over the 8th meeting of the Board of Governors of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) at the CM House, the chief minister directed Sindh Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, education secretary Aziz Uqaili and the SEF managing director to explore possibilities of public-private partnerships to functionalise around 2,000 closed schools in the province.

“Though strides have been taken in the right direction, the demands of the education sector are tremendous and more needs to be done. That is why I had declared an education emergency in Sindh and we must expedite our efforts,” said the CM.

Briefing the meeting, SEF Managing Director Naheed Shah said the foundation during the last few years had expanded its outreach to over 506,511 students through a network of 2,100 schools.

She said the foundation had enrolled around 80,000 students in elementary, secondary and high schools.

Examining the foundation's portfolio, the chief minister appreciated its efforts. He said the public-private partnership modality now needed to be structured to help the government to reach out to out-of-school children.

The MD foundation submitted the progress report on quality initiatives titled "Teach for Change". The Board was told that 77 Teaching Support Associates (TSAs) on the model of Teach for Pakistan and Teach for America had been hired from prestigious institutions.

These young graduates would play their role as subject-specialist teachers and change agents in schools in far-flung areas of Sukkur, Hyderabad, Dadu, Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar regions in initial phase, the meeting was informed.

In February, the Sindh chief minister had ordered hiring 6,000 teachers to reopen 2,000 schools across the province as well as green-lit the proposal to set up a curriculum authority at provincial level.

The decisions were taken during a meeting on education at the CM House that was chaired by the chief executive, Syed Murad Ali Shah, and attended by Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Education Secretary Syed Jamal Shah and Additional Education Secretary Nawaz Sohu among others.

The education secretary had informed the CM that 5,384 schools across the province were closed and it was feasible for 4,123 of them to be reopened. In the light of an education emergency imposed by the chief minister 1,461 schools have already been reopened.

In response to the educations secretary’s information, the CM set a target of reopening 2,000 schools by the end of March and allowed the education department to recruit 6,000 teachers for making it possible.The news.