SHC orders shift of focus from primary to high school education

Published: November 26, 2016

HYDERABAD: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has reiterated its directive for implementation of an earlier order to expand the focus from primary education to middle and high school levels in government schools.

A bench comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Muhammad Iqbal Mehar, while quoting the previous order, asked on Thursday the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) to submit a mechanism regarding the expansion in two months.

“[The] board [of directors] of SEF shall frame a policy chalking out a complete mechanism for extending education from primary level to middle and [Higher School Certificate] HSC for the students registered in Sindh Education Programme under SEF,” read the order, given earlier in the civil suit of the Mashal School case.

During the hearing, SEF’s counsel, advocate Muhammad Saleem Khaskheli, acknowledged the need to amend the Sindh Education Foundation Act, 1992. The court ordered the chief secretary, education secretary and managing director of SEF to examine the act and policy and submit a report in a month. “In case [the] aforesaid committee fails to submit report within one month, appropriate action will be taken.”

The SEF was also ordered to maintain online records of government schools that have been adopted by private persons. The foundation’s lawyer upon inquiry informed the bench that an operator is not given the management control of more than one school.

However, as the petitioner’s counsel, Advocate Bhagwandas Bheel, refuted this assertion, the bench ordered the SEF to submit details of all such schools and their operators ‘to see whether there has been any departure from [the] said procedure’.

The court also asked for submission of complete details of the Sindh Basic Education Programme and the areas in Sindh where the programme is underway. The SEF will also have to provide the criterion on the basis of which the private operators are given the government schools and appointment procedure of the teachers.

The hearing will resume on December 14.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2016.

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