KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday urged the Education Department to functionalise 2000 closed schools thru PPP mode.
“Education is a high priority area and as such a well-rounded and multi-pronged approach needs to be adopted to bring out of school children under the fold of quality schooling,” he said while presiding over the 8th Board of Governors (BoGs) of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) here at the CM House.
The meeting was attended by the minister education who is also vice chairman SEF, BoGs include Chief Secretary Sindh Rizwan Memon, Chairman P&D M Waseem, Secretary Education Aziz Uqaili, Secretary Finance Hassan naqvi, Managing Director SEF Naheed Shah, BoGs non-official members include Dr Kaiser Bengali, Dr Qazi Masood, Dr Muhammad Memon; Hussnain Qamar Shah and Directors of the SEF.
Briefing the board, Managing Director SEF Ms Naheed Shah Durrani stated that the foundation during the last few years has not only expanded the outreach to over 506,511 students through a network of 2,100 schools but, few structural changes have also been achieved.
She added that the foundation is gradually moving into post primary portfolio and by now it has an enrolment of 80,000 students at post primary level in elementary, secondary and high schools.
The MD SEF said there was a minimum complement of services available in schools together with the required teachers.
She added that SEF has prepared in-house quality workbooks and provided these to over 350,000 students across Foundation schools for beefing-up student learning there.
Syed Murad Ali Shah examining the foundation’s portfolio appreciated its efforts. He said saying that the public private partnership modality now needs to be structured to help the government reach out to students who are out of school.
He added, “methodologies and implementation plans can be deliberated to tackle the issue of abandoned schools with School Education Department taking the lead and engaging the Foundation as the key player in the education sector”.
The MD Foundation submitted the progress on quality initiatives `Teach for Change’. The board was apprised that 77 Teaching Support Associates (TSAs) on the model of “Teach for Pakistan, “Teach for America” have been hired from prestigious institutions.
These young graduates will play their role as subject specialized teachers and change agents in Foundation’s schools in far flung areas of Sukkur, Hyderabad, Dadu, and Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar regions in initial phase.
Moreover, with a view to supplement traditional teaching and learning, the progress on ICT based learning was shown to the board.
The foundation has already done a Pilot Launch of Grade 5 (Mathematics and Science) educational contents in 05 districts namely Khairpur, Dadu, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, and Karachi.
Resultantly, 60-70% learning improvement was recorded by the foundation’s in-house Learning Support Unit. This application will be launched in September, 2017 which the chief minister would formally launch the program after Ramazan this year.
MD-SEF also presented the revised budget of CFY 2016-17 and budget estimate of FY 2017-18 before the board. The forum was apprised that in the outgoing year around 89 percent of budget is being spent on student fees and school development services, whereas the same is envisaged for the next fiscal year; thus, manifesting core focus on learning and quality initiatives.
The board unanimously approved service rules of the foundation and increase in the salaries of SEF employees in line with annual budgetary increment of the government with a view to strengthen operations in the region as well.
The CM said that education is a high priority area and as such a well-rounded and multi-pronged approach needs to be adopted to bring out of school children under the fold of quality schooling.
“Though few strong strides have been taken; however, the demands of the sector are tremendous and more needs to be done, this is why I have declared emergency in education sector in the province,” he said and directed Minister Education Jam Mehtab Dahar, Secretary Education Aziz Uqaili and the Managing Director SEF to explore possibility of Public Private Partnership to functionalize the 2000 closed schools and to get maximum out of school children into school.