KARACHI  -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed education department to update curriculum and textbooks to align with United Nations Sustainable Goals 2030 for which special focus would be given for improvement of science, mathematics and English language books.

This he said that while presiding over a meeting to improve school education system here at CM House on Friday. The meeting was attended by Minister Education Syed Sardar Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Education Qazi Shahid Parvez, MD Sindh Education Foundation Ms Shah and other concerned.

He said that improvements in the syllabus and textbooks to align with UN sustainable goals 2013 must be made. “We have a very small number of Science, Maths and English teachers, therefore their recruitment should be made through a special recruitment process,” he said.

Briefing the chief minister Secretary School Education Qazi Shahid Pervaiz said that 483 schools have been upgraded to middle and high school level, building of 185 existing primary and secondary schools reconstructed, 214 shelter-less schools have been provided with new buildings and three public schools at Ghotki, Tando Adam and Umerkot have been established.

The chief minister was told that 4206 high enrolment school were being provided with basic missing facilities like boundary wall, washroom, drinking water, furniture and construction of additional class rooms. Some 2632 schools would be made functional by June 30, 2019.

Replying to a question of the chief minister, minister education Sardar Shah said that of 22,844,303 out of school children 6,413,227 children, including 3,383,270 girls were in Sindh. At this the chief minister said that it must be made a moto to bring them back to school.

Minister Education Syed Sardar Shah to a question of the chief minister said that the major problems of drop of school children include dearth of post primary schools in transition; missing facilities in 9839 schools, 17,701 single school teachers and 4,910 shelter-less school. 

The chief minister was told that out of 43 state of art high schools constructed under USAID funded Sindh Basic Education programme 20 have been handed over to the managements to run them on PPP mode. Under the programme 106 schools would be constructed. With the assistance of JAICA 45 primary (primary/middle) schools have been constructed in remote areas of the province.

It was pointed out that 5517 schools which served as polling stations during general elections 2018 were provided with missing facilities. 1366 schools have been provided clean drinking water. 

Initiatives: The chief minister said that the initiatives of his government to provide stipend to 340,000 girl students at a rate of Rs3500 per child is good initiative. “We are providing free text books and even do not charge examination fees,” he said and added “over 30,000 teachers have hired during the last 10 years purely on merit and 957 headmasters were recruited through IBA. 40,000 in-service teachers training has been made.”

Shah said that he has made heavy investment in school education during the last five years. In 2014-15 Rs102 billion were utilized, in 201516 Rs125 billion utilized, in 2016-17 Rs110 billion spent and in 2017-18 Rs122 billion spent. “I have worked out that the government spends around Rs2515 per child,” he said and added he was expecting best results of huge investment in the education sector but anyhow “we have to make more effective and focused measures to improve our school education,” he said.

The chief minister directed education department start conducting viability assessment of 15214 low or no enrolment schools and 15000 medium enrolment schools with the objective to right size the total number of schools and to ensure that the financial resources are invested at right place.

The chief minister approved high priority school infrastructure project under which infrastructure of 2632 schools would be completed by June 2019 in the first and in the second 1928 schools would be rehabilitated. He also issued directives for rehabilitation of 870 schools from M&R budget and the reaming 4685 schools would be rehabilitated by June 20022. He also issued clear directives for increasing access to Early Childhood Care and Education.

The chief minister also directed the education department to assess the locality, enrolment size, accessibility of shelter-less schools so that appropriate action could be taken.