KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday directed the Education department to investigate illegal appointments of teachers on district level and submit a report to him.
“I would not allow any illegal entry in the teaching cadre. I need best teachers appointed through NTS,” he said issuing the directives while presiding over a meeting of the Education department to review progress of different projects.
The chief minister said that there is ban on recruitment of teachers from 2008, but the appointment of required teaching staff have been made through third party and well-reputed organisations. He questioned how a number of teachers have been appointed in different districts.
Minister for Education Jam Mehtab Dahar informed CM Sindh that salaries of 3700 teachers have been stopped for lack of verification of credentials, and hardly sixteen teachers have submitted their documents despite repeated notices issued through the national press.
CM Sindh directed Secretary Education to inquire into the matter and register FIR against those who are involved in the fraud and forgery for issuing illegal recruitment orders.
“I would not compromise on merit and quality in education sector,” he said adding that the future of the country particularly Sindh lies in education and it becomes our collective responsibility to work vigilantly and honestly.
CM Sindh briefed on foreign funded education projects
Secretary School Education Aziz Uqaili briefed the CM Sindh and said that six different foreign funded projects are in progress in education sector.
This includes the World Bank-funded Sindh Education Reform Programme (SERP-I&II) and the Sindh Global Partnership for Education (SGPE) being funded by World Bank, European Union (EU) and other donors worth $66 million.
Other projects include EU Sindh Education Sector Programme (SESSP), Sindh Basic Education Programme (SBEP) of USAID, Capacity Building of Teachers Training Institutes & Training of Elementary School Teachers of CIA and Girls Elementary School of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The secretary said that SERP-I&II are worth $355.044 and $321.432 million projects respectively. Both projects have two components: Eligible Expenditure Programme (EEP) and Technical assistance (TA).
The SESSP focuses on education governance, access and quality. The EU has extended Euro 25.5million budgetary support (2015-16) and has committed Euro 50million under the upcoming programme.
The SBEP project is $155million USAID- funded project including Rs1.02 billion by the Sindh government, under which 106 schools are being constructed in seven districts out of which sixteen schools have been completed while work on 63 others is in progress.
The other components of the project are Sindh Reading Programme, Community Mobilisation Programme, Sindh Capacity Development Programme, and Architectural and Engineering Support.
Secretary Education Aziz Uqaili said that out of sixteen completed schools, nine have been handed over on public-private partnership mode in different villages of Khairpur and Sukkur districts.
Briefing on Rs1.3 billion CIDA project, Mr Uqaili said that under the programme 1016 headmasters have been trained. A three-week training programme of 1000 headmasters started this month would be completed in October.
Furthermore, 700 newly promoted headmasters three week training programme is being started and four week training of other 700 headmasters promoted from subject specialist would be launched started. He said that around 3416 headmasters would be trained under the program.
The JICA programme is for upgrading girls schools to elementary school in rural areas. This two-phase programme was originally approved by ECNEC in 2013 for Rs2 billion in which JICA was contributing Rs1.66 billion while Sindh government’s share came to Rs409 million.
The programme has two phases, Southern side and Northern side, and it would be completed by June 2019. The other objectives of the programme are improvement to access and address gender gaps, address rural-urban disparities and develop girls elementary schools in priority districts.
He said that out of 54 schools, 29 have been completed and handed over while 25 are under construction. CM Sindh directed Minister Education to focus on merit and proper and sagacious usage of funds.