By issuing smart cards to students, Sindh’s education department plans to tighten the monitoring of attendance at schools, distribution of free books among the students and the number of students enrolled in the schools.
“We want to know that the government is not provided exaggerated figures about enrollment by the education officials, that the books published by the Sindh Text Book Board (STBB) are provided to all students and that attendance is being ensured,” said Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro on Sunday. He said that both STBT and district education departments have been asked to provide documentary and video records about the number of books the text board published and provided to each district. A record is also required about details of books distribution to each government school and each enrolled student.
Khuhro said the government is also reviewing a proposal for providing electronic cards to the teachers. He explained that satellite monitoring of the teachers, tracing ghost teachers and blocking release of their salaries will be possible through the cards. “Through this system, we can see if a teacher is actually present in the classroom during the teaching hours as recorded in the attendance register.”
The minister admitted that official negligence, destitution and lack of law and order have made Sindh fall behind other provinces in the realm of education. “We are making sincere efforts to reform the system, starting with overhauling the administrative system.”
According to the minister, as a first the government has removed all the junior officers serving on the BPS-18 post of Additional District Officer - an ADO is responsible for monitoring all the schools, financial management, salaries and other expenditures, transfers and posting of teachers in the taluka limits of a district.
The minister said the officers of lower ranks occupying the BPS-20 District Education Officer post will also be removed following the promotions committee meeting next week. According to him, the committee will scrutinise 500 officers for promotions to the next grade. “It has been over ten years since the DPC last met in 2002.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2013.