As public schools and colleges across Sindh continue to face a shortage of teaching staff, the government has posted around 23 lecturers to teach a single subject in Islamia Science and Arts College, Sukkur, it emerged on Tuesday.
Sharing details in the Sindh Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) MPA Imtiaz Shaikh said, "Sindh government has broken its past record of mismanagement and nepotism. The example can be gauged from the fact that 23 lecturers for commerce and 19 for English have been posted at a single institute. I want to ask which rules have allowed the education department to appoint so many teachers for the same subject," he said while moving an adjournment motion regarding Rs90 million spared by the government for the public schools' up-gradation programme. Shaikh claimed not a single penny from this amount has been released so far.
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"The government has launched Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Cadet College in Garhi Khuda Bux, but after the passage of ten months, funds for it have not yet been released," he said, adding that the same situation persists in Dadu, Sanghar, Sukkur and other districts.
Addressing Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, he said "the incumbent government has built Bilawal Engineering College in Lyari. The funds allocated for it will lapse in 60 days. If you have no intention to work, then why are such huge funds allocated."
Sheikh, a bureaucrat-turned politician, criticised education secretary Fazullah Pechuho for being a stumbling block in issues related to education. "I know that the education minister and chief minister are powerless to take action against the influential secretary. But what will be the future of our children [if no one does anything]," he said, revealing that of the total 1,300 schools in his home district of Shikarpur, 300 are non-functional and 500 are operating without basic facilities, including boundary walls, furniture and toilets. "I have attached a few press clippings in support of my adjournment motion," he said.
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Khuhro termed the adjournment motion out of order, saying "We cannot take it up merely on the basis of a news clipping." Rebutting Shaikh's claims, he said, "We have released funds to Cadet College Sanghar and Benazirabad. Funds for other cadet colleges and public schools are in the process of being released." The matter of Garhi Khuda Bux cadet college has been mired in a land dispute which has landed in court, the minister informed. "We have modified other development schemes and gotten the administrative approval to release funds for Lyari College and other institutes. Hope this will be done within a few days," he said further.
Regarding the missing facilities in educational institutes, the minister claimed his department will plug all gaps in 10,000 schools by 2018.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2016.