SHC orders constitution of school accreditation board within five days

Published: August 25, 2017
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PHOTO: EXPRESS

PHOTO: EXPRESS

HYDERABAD: Expressing dismay over persistent delay in the compliance to its orders, the Sindh High Court [SHC] has ordered the provincial government to constitute the accreditation board for the government schools within five days.

The Hyderabad circuit bench, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Fahim Ahmed Siddiqi, also directed on Wednesday the government to establish the board’s district level chapters as well.

The bench noted procrastination on part of the Sindh government pointing out that it ordered to set up the board on December 14, 2016.

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Faisal Ahmed, the department’s chief programme manager, apprised the court that a notification for establishing the board was issued last year. However, a summary for nomination of its chairperson is pending with the chief minister, he said. “… scope of [the] Accreditation Board is very wide and [so is the] object whereof,” the court observed while giving guidelines for opening district level offices of the board, which will function as its subordinate offices.

Additional Advocate-General Allah Bachayo Soomro, who represented the government, assured the court that the order will be implemented in its totality, adding that the chairperson will be appointed in three days.

School buildings

The bench also expressed displeasure with the observation that the deputy commissioners (DCs) in the province have so far failed to submit reports about condition of the school buildings in their respective districts. The court ordered the education secretary to direct the DCs to submit the reports detailing the state of basic facilities in government schools like availability of potable water, toilets, boundary walls and electric supply, in 15 days.

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The court also ordered the education secretary to provide budget to all the DCs, who in their capacity are also the project directors in their respective districts, for expenditure over providing the basic facilities in schools.

The officials informed the court that around 41,000 schools existed in the province. However, they failed to bring on record of how many among these schools were functioning without basic facilities.

The bench also reiterated direction given in an earlier order to the divisional commissioners to stop the government school teachers from working in other professions and as journalists.

IT labs

The court was also informed that under a joint scheme, the federal and provincial governments had planned to set up at least one information technology lab at a high school, one each for girls and boys, at taluka level in all districts of Sindh. However, implementation on the plan has stalled for unexplained reasons.

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“… hence the attempt to avoid or least delay such compliance under plea of [the] federal policy prima facie is not helpful to the education department. They shall ensure that [the] IT labs are established within two months and directions, already given, would not require any other hammering,” the court ordered.

The bench further directed the government to prepare a summary for establishing the labs in the middle schools in the second phase.

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