SHC CJ orders reclamation of Jacobabad schools

Karachi:September 22:The chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SHC), Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, on Thursday directed the education secretary to lead efforts to reclaim school buildings in Jacobabad that have been illegally taken over by individuals and are being used as warehouses or cattle farms.

The direction came on proceedings initiated by the chief justice over a judicial officer’s report on the dilapidated condition of school buildings in different districts of the province.

The court had directed the secretary education, the executive engineers (works), and the education department to submit a detailed report with regard to the rehabilitation work being carried out in the schools.

Education secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili submitted a report regarding rehabilitation of schools in different districts of the province. He submitted that the government allocated Rs151.89 billion in the 2017-18 budget out of which 77 percent of the funds had been utilised on salaries and pension of employees.

Uqaili said his department had introduced a biometric system for attendance to deal with the ghost employees. He said school management committees had also been formed for better management of the institutions through community participation.

He informed the chief justice that 6,000 junior elementary school teachers, 900 female early childhood teachers, and 1,000 headmasters would be recruited who would also help make the temporary closed schools functional again.

He submitted that there were an extreme shortage of teachers in rural areas due to transfer and posting of teachers from rural areas to urban centres in the past decades. The education secretary said there were many schools that lacked basic infrastructure, while the education and literacy department had compiled a list of all such schools along those housed in dangerous buildings.

The chief justice observed that the relevant judicial officers had submitted in its reports that there were under-construction schools in Jacobabad wherein classes were being used as store rooms and animals farms by private persons.

The CJ directed the education secretary to submit a report regarding rehabilitation of schools mentioned in the judicial reports’ report get the schools vacated from the clutches of private. The chief justice adjourned the matter till October 12.

Earlier, the CJ had observed that the relevant sessions judges after their visits to schools in Tando Mohammad Khan, Kashmore, Tharparkar, Khairpur, Kambar Shahdatkot and Jacobabad submitted in their reports that schools were too far for children to travel to from home and the local transporters were reluctant to accommodate them. The report also pointed out lack of basic infrastructure in schools and maintenance work, ghost schools, and absence of school staff and shortage of teachers.The news.