Education on the agenda: CM orders reopening of 2,000 ‘ghost’ schools

Allows recruitment of 6,000 teachers, decides to set up curriculum authority

Our Correspondent February 08, 2017
Allows recruitment of 6,000 teachers, decides to set up curriculum authority

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah approved the recruitment of 6,000 teachers on merit and issued orders to reopen 2,000 schools by the end of March.

There are 5,384 closed schools in the province, of them 4,123 are viable and can be made functional, said education secretary Syed Jamal Shah, giving a briefing to the chief minister on Wednesday. Following the ‘education emergency’ that the chief minister (CM) imposed, Jamal said that 1,461 schools have been reopened.

The CM insisted that the teachers must be recruited purely on merit and the written exam for recruitment will be overseen by the Sukkur Institute of Business Administration (IBA). “I want to visit these reopened schools by the end of March so that new targets to improve the education system in the province can be set,” he said.

Sindh Curriculum Authority

In an effort to reform the education sector in Sindh, the CM also approved the establishment of a Sindh Curriculum Authority.

Shah said he has gone through the textbooks for different classes from primary to middle school. "I am sorry to say that I am not satisfied with the content and the quality of the curriculum," he said, adding that the curriculum must be updated with the latest standards.

Hence, he approved the establishment of the Sindh Curriculum Authority, which will redesign the curriculum keeping in view the standards being practiced in other provinces and countries, such as Sri Lanka. The same authority will give trainings to teachers so they can teach the new material. "There is a dire need to redesign the curriculum and the teaching skills must be based on latest teaching trends and techniques being practiced in other countries," said Shah. "Education is the only key to success. Therefore, the government is giving it top priority."

Improving management

After the CM was informed that some schools were over-staffed, he restrained the department from transferring teachers or posting them elsewhere. He told education minister Jam Mehtab Dahar to prepare a proper justification of transfer cases and then implement them. "You have to rationalise school-specific requirements of teachers and utilise the extra staff where these services are required," he said.

Dahar said that he was continuously visiting schools to keep a check on educational activities. He claimed to have prepared a transfer and posting policy, which he said he will send to the CM for approval.

Shah was also concerned about the lack of basic facilities at schools, such as washrooms, compound wall, water supply and hand pumps.

"These must be provided with funds from the 'missing facilities' programme," he said. There is no point in merely reopening schools. "We have to develop proper educational atmosphere to be enjoyed by students as well as teachers," he said.

The idea for a modern teachers' academy was also floated at the meeting.

977 headmasters recruited

An education department summary to recruit 977 headmasters selected through Sukkur IBA was also approved by the CM.

These headmasters will be posted in the schools being made functional.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2017.


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