Rebuttal: Education minister contradicts AKU report

Spokesman says that the report did not reflect the overall situation of schools with the education department.


Express November 23, 2011

KARACHI:


A spokesman for Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazhar-ul Haq has contradicted the results of an Aga Khan University survey project called Strengthening Teacher Education in Pakistan. It studied 196 schools across Sindh and its findings were made public on Tuesday.


Haq’s spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that while the department welcomes the “randomised survey of just 196 schools in eight districts”, it has a stronger case to claim that the findings are in no way reflective of the overall scene in government-run schools. “There may be some weaker spots but the department also has some success stories which also need to be highlighted,” the statement said before going on to ennumerate them.

During the past three years, the present government has initiated a number of “bold” steps, including strict adherence to merit while hiring around 14,000 teachers through reputed institutes and under the vigilance of international donors.

Similarly, to improve teaching practices, a new Associate Degree in Education, under the Sindh Teacher Education Development Authority, has been introduced throughout the province from this year. Understanding the poor management and administrative skills of the baseline education officials, the department has launched a Sindh Education Sector Managers course.

To improve the teacher accountability, School Management Committees have been in place for two years. The spokesman said that the report did not reflect the overall situation of schools with the education department which has a total strength of well over 4.4 million children in about 49,000 schools, against just 6,000 pupils and 196 schools claimed to have been surveyed. press release

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2011.

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