Pir Mazhar ul Haq
Senior Minister for Education & Literacy
Education has been top priority agenda of Present Democratic Government because we believe that education nurtures mental, physical, spiritual and psychological aspects of human personality and in this era of modern technology nations desirous of progress spend huge amounts on education, today, education is taken as an investment for educated masses, by putting into practice their education and training, help in future population welfare.
In Sindh Education Department faces many challenges. One of these is ghost schools and teachers, who eagerly draw salaries but hardly bother to exhibit loyalty to their profession. Sindh Education Department has taken certain measures to punish these ghost teachers. To monitor the efficiency of teachers and their working at schools, the work on geological information system has been completed in eight districts of Sindh, in remaining districts the work will be completed soon.
This is the first time in the history of the province that the Sindh Government has allocated 12000 million rupees for Education, which is 20 percent of the total budget. It’s evidence of the face that Sindh Government wants to lit the lamp of education in every corner of the province. With the start of Financial Year 2012-13 work on establishing Public Schools in Matiari, Ghotki, Tando Allah Yar, tando Muhammad Khan and Sanghar has been started . The cadet collge in Khairpur, Engineering Colleges in Thatta and Mirpurkhas, and Women University in Sukkur are also in pipeline. The Modern International Sufi University has been inaugurated at Bhitshah and campuses of Sindh University are also being set up at Badin, Dadu, Thatta and Mirpurkhas.
The Sindh Education Department has faced many challenges like enrolment, gender governance, unsustainable political conditions and poor financial support etc. but the present government has made a number of remarkable efforts to fulfill the educational needs in the province. Now the literacy rate in Sindh has increased up to 67.5% . The current enrollment of students between the age of 5 to 9 years is 5.78 million i.e. 2.83 million in government and 1.19 million in private schools.
The Education and Literacy Department’s Directorate of Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education Sindh is working on achieving the EFA goals. It focuses on the six EFA goals of Dakar Framework of Action, e.e. Early Childhood care and Education (ECCE), Free and compulsory Primary Education (CPE), Learning needs of Youth and Adults, Adult Literacy (AL), Gender equality in Education and Quality of Education.
Education Department has initiated working on ADPs schemes of Rs. 13.086 for the year 2012 -13. Among them Up gradation of Primary Schools to Middle, Up gradation of Middle Schools to High Schools, Establishment of 78 Degree Colleges, rehabilitation of High Schools, Reconstruction of Dangerous High Schools, Establishment of A/O Level schools in each district, Establishment of IBA-Community Colleges/ Schools in remote areas of the province and some other schemes are included. The Sindh Assembly has recently passed the law for the establishment of Sindh Teachers Education & Development Authority , which will provide training and necessary educational and instructional skills to teachers . Some 14,000 teachers were recruited on merit through reputed institutions like IBA and 19000 more teachers will be appointed on merit soon. Applications for the purpose have been collected.
It is a fact that the situation would have been different if devastating floods in 2010, and heavy rains in 2011 would not happen. These natural disasters destroyed the very fabric of educational system in the province. It destroyed nearly 12,126 educational buildings completely and partially. Sindh Education Department with collaboration of UNICEF, and other international donor agencies has been working to rebuild these effected schools and to provide technical assistance, quality training to in-service teachers, distribution of free textbooks and stipend to girl students for class VI to X and now stipends will be given to girls students for class I to class V as well.
Sindh Education Department has taken many positive measures to improve quality education in the province. We are following the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and directives of President Asif Ali Zardari in the fields of education. Things are gradually improving. The days are near when everyone will be educated in Sindh. We have to wait a little more. It is imperative that all stakeholders should work together and cooperate with Sindh Education Department.