CM, World Bank delegation discuss school rehabilitation programme

4,650 schools with high enrolment rates to be upgraded and provided necessary facilities

Our Correspondent February 13, 2018

KARACHI: The provincial government is planning to undertake a massive project to rehabilitate and expand schools with high enrolment rates. For this purpose, the government has selected 4,650 schools to be renovated and provided with missing facilities.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said this on Monday while talking to a World Bank delegation led by its country director, Patchamuthu Illangovan. The delegation had called on the CM to discuss the conclusion of the Sindh Education Reforms Programme 2014-18.

"Today, we are in the era of the fourth industrial revolution," the CM said, adding that many factors were affecting labour productivity. He called for enhancing skills of workers as technological changes were constant. The CM maintained that if skills were not upgraded, it would result in mass unemployment and inequality.

Sindh’s education system to be overhauled, says CM

"After I assumed office, I declared an education emergency," the CM informed the delegation. He added that his government was taking actions to improve education sector through a strategy, which included addressing infrastructure gaps, addressing quality of education by improving human resources in schools by competitive test-based recruitment of teachers and head masters, and regularly assessing children's learning outcomes.

The CM informed the delegation that the government was to undertake a project, the 'Rehabilitation and Expansion of High Enrolment Schools', under which a portfolio of 4,650 schools had been selected to be provided with missing facilities and their infrastructure would be overhauled.

"We are [trying to formulate] a strategy through which we can ensure progression of students beyond fifth grade," the CM said, adding that the government planned to equip all secondary schools with science and computer laboratories and bring in other facilities that could help strengthen students' learning outcome.

All schools in Sindh to remain closed today

The CM told the delegation that 14 schools in the province had been outsourced currently. They were being run by private partners while the provincial government bore all the expenditures.

The World Bank country director appreciated the government's efforts and lauded the CM for his initiative of operating schools under public-private partnership.

The World Bank delegation comprised Dr Jaime Saavedra, Keiko Miwa, Cristina Isabel Panasco Santos, Tazeen Fasih, Umbreen Arif, Shinsaku Nomura, Marcela Gutierrez and Mehreen Saeed, while the CM was assisted by Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, Planning and Development Board Chairperson Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, School Education Secretary Iqbal Durrani and Sindh Education Foundation Managing Director Naheed Shah Durrani.