KARACHI: Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah directed the education department to appoint 6,000 junior elementary school teachers so an early childhood education system, English medium and comprehensive high schools could be started.
He gave these directives on Thursday while presiding over a meeting of the schools education department at CM House. The meeting was attended by Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Planning and Development Chairperson Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to the CM Sohail Rajput, Schools Education Secretary Iqbal Durani and other concerned officers.
Briefing the CM, the schools education secretary said that of the 25 under-construction English medium school buildings, 15 are ready to start.
The completed school buildings are in Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Naushero Feroz, Sanghar, Khairpur, Mirpurkhas, Tando Mohammad Khan, Ghotki, Thatta, Badin, Sujawal, Matiari, Tando Allahyar and Jamshoro.
The buildings that will be completed by 2018-19 are in Hyderabad, Umerkot, Dadu, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, Tharparkar and Malir, while work on three other schools in Shikarpur, Kashmore and Karachi will be started next year.
Durani told the CM that the schedule of new expenditure (SNE) of five schools has been approved, while the SNE of 10 others has yet to be approved by the finance department. On this, the CM expressed his displeasure and summoned the file from the finance department and approved it during the meeting.
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The CM said he would not tolerate official red tapism. Everything should be done in time, he said.
Shah directed the education secretary to invite the expression of interest from leading educationists and educational institutions. "I want to run these English medium schools through private managements," Shah said, adding that this would help establish good schools in the public sector.
"The government would bear all the expenditure, including tuition fee, text books, exercise material, registration fee and examination fee and even the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff, while the private partner would have to effectively manage the schools," the CM said. "I want to start these English medium schools by the end of April," he said.
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Durani told the CM that the formation of recruitment rules for 6,000 new teachers was in process with the regulation wing. Under the approved arrangement, each school would have 69 staff members, including 39 teaching staff. The furniture for 15 schools has been purchased and every school will have fully-equipped science and computer labs, a library and a standby generator.
These schools would be English medium and operated on the Cambridge system. On this, the CM said that it was quite difficult for the government to recruit the best O Level teachers in rural areas, therefore the task may be given to top educational institutions.
The education minister and schools education secretary were assigned the task to talk to leading educational institutions to run the management of these English medium schools, after which selection would be made through a competitive process.
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Replying to a question, Durani said that out of the 25 comprehensive high schools, six units would be ready by March, while nine others would be ready in December. The tendering process of the remaining 10 schools is at the advance stage, he said.
The CM said that the teachers for early childhood education should be recruited through a genuine competitive process but these new teachers must be good at English, science and mathematics.
Therefore, question papers for selection of teachers should be made accordingly, he said. "Teacher trainings are the most important and I want a comprehensive plan for capacity building of the teachers working in the government sector," the CM concluded.