‘Efforts needed to reduce gap between enrolment, attendance’

Published: September 29, 2016
Panellists discuss recommendations on issues, challenges and opportunities in education dept. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Panellists discuss recommendations on issues, challenges and opportunities in education dept. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Efforts are required to bridge the gap between enrolment and attendance in government schools, said schools special secretary Aalia Shahid on day two of the second Joint Education Sector Review organised by the education department on the two years’ completion of the Sindh Education Sector Plan (SESP) 2014-2018 on Wednesday.

During the session, key recommendations based on issues, challenges and opportunities in the education and literacy department were discussed in five groups regarding the SESP. The groups consisted of education department officials, developing partners, schools local director, teachers and educationists. The points that were discussed pertained to access to education, quality, governance, intra and inter-departmental coordination and districts. Recommendations were prepared with respect to the performance in light of the plan so far and what steps should be taken to further achieve it until 2018.

Presenting the discussed points regarding access to education, schools special secretary Shahid pointed out that there is no General Registration (GR) number allotted to the students of elementary classes. “A research study should be conducted to understand the cause of this gap,” she suggested. “The GR number should be given because this data will assist in tracking the out-of-school children.”

Her group covered aspects of early childhood education care, primary, middle and secondary education, non-formal education and public-private partnership.

The head of curriculum wing, Fouzia Khan, presented the recommendations of the quality group. According to her, curriculum should be reviewed and updated every three years to align it with the requirements of the current times.

The third group on governance, led by monitoring and evaluation director-general Akram Khowaja, made the recommendation to regularly follow up on school improvement plan done by the School Management Committees (SMC). The areas they identified for improvement were related to human resource management information system, monitoring and evaluation, biometrics, strengthening communication and school consolidation.

The team on coordination recommended that there should be a dedicated unit in the education department to follow up on the budget. There should be an internal audit mechanism within the department, said the team, adding that there is a need to establish a mechanism to facilitate donors and education management officers.

Hyderabad secondary schools director Rasool Bux Shah, who represented the fifth group for districts, said that district and taluka officers should be equipped with human and administrative resources to enhance their performance.

Education secretary Fazlullah Pechuho, in his concluding remarks, welcomed the recommendations and said that they will be put in practice.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2016.

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