Sindh’s education emergency' is in crisis

KARACHI:October 9:Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s announcement about the ‘emergency’ in the education and health sectors failed to achieve tangible results and is now being called a political gimmick by experts. Soon after taking over charge as chief executive of the province, the CM had promised that he would ‘overhaul the public education system and heath sector’ in the province but the announcement was merely a means of pacifying the public.

“The CM declared the emergency in July, 2016 but ground realties show that he did not bother to set targets, frame policy or devise a plan to achieve any targets,” an official in Sindh government criticised, adding that all the authorities who were supposed to play their roles in resolving the crisis are mum on the issue.

“The first step was to devolve powers from the chief minister to the minister or secretaries concerned who cannot take action against senior officers at district levels,” sources said, adding that a majority of the district education officers, district health officers and medical superintendents of public hospitals are appointed on political grounds and no one but the chief minister can take action against them.

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“An idea was floated to empower provincial ministers and secretaries to hold officers of grades 18 to 20 accountable by reviewing their performance [nothing was done],” the sources explained.

During a recent meeting at CM House, Shah was irked by officials in the education department for failing to achieve their targets in revamping the education sector. He admitted that government has failed to achieve its targets and soon after the meeting, education secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili was transferred.

Official statistics reveal that between 2007 and 2017, around $700 million has been given in loans by the World Bank for the Sindh Education Sector Reforms Programme, with $66 million as a grant under the Global Partnership for Education to bring about change in the sector. Apart from this, €70 million has been given by the European Commission but the government has little show for it.The news.