The Sindh government has decided to bifurcate the education department to improve the quality of its services, The Express Tribune has learnt. This move comes after a similar step was taken in the health department as well. Both these decisions have, however, yet to be implemented.
Senior minister for education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has also said there are no differences between the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on the bifurcation of functions in the health and education departments, adding that the decision is being taken in order to improve the quality of services.
Khuhro made these remarks while speaking to the media after the training certificate and scholarship award distribution ceremony for the primary and junior school teachers organised by the Sindh Elementary Teachers Training Project on Thursday. He further said that it is being considered to bifurcate education department into a primary and a higher education department to raise the quality of the department. He said that the universities and education boards were working under the control of the Sindh Chief Minister while the technical education was being managed by the Sindh Technical and Educational Vocational Training Authority.
Earlier, while addressing the ceremony, the minister urged international donor agencies and philanthropists to help the education department train 40,000 teachers of schools in Sindh in order to raise the quality of education in the province.
He said that the government is committed to achieving its millennium development goals and training of teachers is a very important part of that. He added that with proper training, the attitudes and behaviour of the teachers can improve which will be helpful to increase the registration of children in schools and help decrease dropouts. He also appreciated the role of the Canadian government for helping improve the quality of elementary schooling by providing assistance in capacity-building for the teachers.
For an across-the-board qualitative training at the provincial education department that comprises 150,000 school teachers - out of which 99,000 were employed at the primary level - Khuhro said that the endeavour requiring huge investments seems impossible to realise without financial help from donor agencies.
For Education Secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho, who was also present at the ceremony, the biggest challenge that the province faces at present was providing quality education to the students. "The Sindh government is taking measures to improve the standards of 42 teachers' training institutions located in the province," he said.
The Canadian counsellor for development, David Fornier, said that Canada is supporting Pakistan primarily in three domains, including stable economical development, advancement of democracy, and investment in education and health sectors. "The Canadian $132 million loan to Pakistan that was later converted into a grant is evidence of our resolve," said Fornier.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.