4,000 selected schools to be provided necessary facilities in six months

KARACHI:19 October:The school education department has been directed to select at least 4,000 schools in the province and provide them all necessary facilities within the next six months.

The direction was given by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah who was presiding over a meeting of the school education department at CM House on Wednesday. The CM approved Rs6 billion for providing facilities at the schools.

The meeting was attended by Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Planning and Development Board Chairperson Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to the CM Sohail Rajput, Education Secretary Iqbal Durani, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi and others.

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Giving a presentation to the CM, the education secretary said there were around 4,000 schools in the province that did not have washrooms. To this, the CM commented that he had been listening to reports of missing facilities in schools for years. He directed the school education department to select at least 4,000 schools and provide them all the facilities, including boundary walls, libraries, teachers’ rooms, laboratories, washrooms, drinking water and electricity. Shah directed the provision of solar energy to schools where power connections through electric poles were not possible.

On Shah’s inquiry, the planning and development board chairperson informed the meeting that the cost of the proposed project would be Rs6 billion. “I want this to be accomplished within six months,” the CM said, approving the amount.

The meeting was informed that students’ enrolment in government schools was recorded at 4.25 million in 2012 and the figure remained almost the same during the 2016-17 academic year. To this, the CM remarked that no parents would have their children enrolled in schools that lacked basic facilities.

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The school education secretary informed Shah that there are 38,132 primary schools in Sindh, while the number of middle schools in the province is 2,241. Expressing displeasure over the statistics, the CM said that 2,241 middle schools were negligible against 38,132 primary schools. He ordered the secretary to increase the number of middle schools in the province.

The meeting was also informed that 2.74 million students are enrolled in primary schools and are educated by 91,092 primary teachers. Shah was satisfied with the teacher-to-student ratio in primary schools. This shows that one teacher is teaching 30 students which is not bad, he remarked, adding that “we have to focus on capacity building of teachers”.

The CM also directed the school education secretary to develop school-wise data of the number of students and teachers at the school, area, budget and facilities. “I want easily accessible data of every school so that its problems and issues could be identified forthwith for redress,” he said.

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“Primary education is the foundation. If the foundation is strong, the building will be strong,” Shah said, adding that latest teaching methods should be adopted in primary schools. The CM also directed the education minister to devise a mechanism for rationalising teachers’ transfers and postings.

The CM also announced that he would be reviewing the progress on the agenda for providing all necessary facilities to 4,000 schools every fortnight. The Express turbuni.