KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah promised the establishment of 25 Cambridge schools across the province. Two years later, the government has managed to start construction of 11 of them and assures that at least 16 buildings will be completed by March 2016.
The construction of these English-medium schools affiliated with Cambridge International Examinations was announced when the chief minister was making his budget speech in 2013. Nearly a year later, in September 2014, construction of the buildings started with an expected completion time of 18 months, said Sattar Jatoi, the project director. He explained that the funds for this project were allocated after a yearlong process of tender notices.
The schools are currently being built in 11 cities, including Nawabshah, Khairpur, Sukkur, Thatta, Badin, Sajawal and Jamshoro. Construction in Ghotki and Larkana has just started. "The first school building to be completed will be in Nawabshah city by September this year after which it will be handed over to the education department," said Jatoi.
Due to delays in funding, the speed of the construction work is slow and it will take time to complete the entire project, he said.
The two schools planned for Karachi are still awaiting land allocations. "We have asked the district management to allot state land for the Cambridge schools," said Jatoi. "The construction for the schools in Karachi will start in the second phase."
According to Jatoi, a notice for the recruitment of teachers for these schools will be issued six months before the completion of the infrastructure. "New teachers will be appointed for the Cambridge programme as it is an entirely new system and will need a separate board to handle its affairs," he shared. The system also needs an affiliation to conduct O' Levels examinations.
When the project was announced in the budget for 2013-2014, an amount of Rs3.7 billion were allocated for it. Last year, the budget earmarked Rs3.5 billion for the project but the actual expenditure was only Rs399.6 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2015.
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