CM questions why federal HEC occupying Sindh’s functions

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Saturday that the emergency he had declared in the education department has set some clear directions which are bound to improve the quality of education in the public sector.

This he said while talking to media just after attending as a chief guest the convocation of NED University of Science & Technology this afternoon.

He said that problems in education department were serious, complicated and old ones. Their solution would take some time and this is why we are working on a 10-year education reform programme to overhaul the entire system, he said.

“I have held a number of meetings for introducing reforms in education right from primary to higher education,” he said and added that the proposed reforms include improvement of text books, proper and professional trainings of teachers, more efficient and transparent mechanism of teachers’ recruitment, performance-based promotions, increments and incentives for best teachers and improvement of class room environment where students can receive education.

He said that he had constituted a committee to suggest the reforms and then leading educationists of prominent private sector educational institutes would be involved to work out a detailed 10-year education reform programme for which support of civil society, parents and teachers would be taken into confidence for its implementation.

Talking about baton-charge resorted by the police on protesting teachers, the chief minister said that he was a democratic person and believed that peaceful protest was right of every one but “when your protest becomes problematic for others it becomes the responsibility of the administration to stop it,” he said and added he had taken notice of the baton-charge on the teachers.

Shah said: “It is unethical to stage sit-in at the houses of the political leadership,” and added that when all the demands of the agitating teachers were accepted there was no point to continue the protest,” he said and went on saying that there was political party involved in instigating the teachers for continuation their protects.

He said that he had held a meeting with the office-bearers of the teachers who had met him in Sukkur also. If there are groupings in teachers’ bodies that is their issue in which government cannot be dragged in. “The basic job of teachers is to teach in the class room not to protest on the roads,” he asked and said he knows that some of the teachers do not know how to teach,” he lamented.

The cabinet has decided to regularize the teachers of Sindh University and NTS pass tests. The cabinet is the highest forum and they [teachers associations] should have understand the reality that the cabinet decision is the final decision.

He said that on the demand of the teachers he had awarded time scale to primary teachers and the process of regularization of teachers was in progress.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that after the enforcement of 18th Constitutional Amendment, the provincial government had created its Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC), but “I don’t know why the federal HEC was still encroaching upon the provincial government functions,” he asked. He expressed surprise that the federal HEC was providing funds to public sector universities directly without keeping the provincial government in the lope.

Replying to a question, he said that due to some health issues of Dr Asim Hussain, the performance of provincial HEC might have been affected but “we are strengthening it administratively, financially and academically,” he said and added: “Dr Asim is a senior parliamentarian, prominent educationalist and chancellor of his university; therefore, his experience is of a great value,” he said.

Shah said that he was sincere in serving the people of this province in all the sectors. “We are committed and we would show the results,” he vowed.