Purpose-built building of 160th school of GCT inaugurated in Mithi

MITHI: Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair has lamented that just less than 40 per cent of Sindh government budget of previous financial year reserved for health and education sectors could be utilized as this indicates one of the major reasons Sindh has been lagging far behind rest of the country as far as provision of health and educational facilities to its people is concerned.

Sindh Governor stated this while speaking as the chief guest as he inaugurated the new purpose-built building of 160th charitable school of Green Crescent Trust (GCT) here in Mithi on Sunday.

“Lately the Sindh government identified some 290 small and big projects to be developed in health and education sectors as budgetary allocations were also reserved to do these projects. Not a single penny could be spent on 170 of these projects. This raises a big question mark over capacity and competence of the provincial government to carry out such a work,” he said.

He said that performance in health and education sectors of provincial governments in last five years would count much as three different ruling political parties of Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would soon contact people to solicit votes from them for forthcoming general elections. He said that people should question these ruling parties about their past performance and future road map to provide health and educational facilities to masses.

“Provision of basic facilities and necessities of life like provision of health, education, clean drinking water, road infrastructure facilities are all the constitutional obligations of the government as after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, these all are the responsibilities of provincial governments. But that doesn’t mean the federal government would sit idle and do nothing for provision of such facilities,” said the governor.

“What the federal government could best do was provision of maximum financial assistance to provincial governments to provide such basic civic facilities to people as in last five years the fiscal share being given by the centre to the provinces had been doubled from Rs. 1200 billion to Rs. 24,00 billion owing to double increase in revenue collection,” he said.

The governor said all national and international-level credible surveys had duly pointed out that state of basic education in Sindh had been worse than that of the other provinces. “That is the situation when education sector of Pakistan has been lagging behind that of many regional countries like India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka,” said the governor.

He said that extraordinary efforts were required on emergency basis to fill performance gap of education sector of Sindh as compared to that of the other provinces as at present the province was not in a position to catch up with rest of the country.

The governor on the occasion quoted a prominent businessman Hussain Dawood who had once said that poor state of education in Sindh even posed an existential threat to integrity of the country.

He said that a prosperous “Middle class” didn’t emerge in Sindh owing to lack of prospects in the province for getting education and for doing industrialization.

“A Thari boy if in case he gets higher education has to move to cities like Karachi or Lahore for employment as there is no industry in Thar, which could employ him,” he said.

He said that Thar was all set to witness a revolution in coming ten years as both federal and provincial governments had collectively invested 05 billion US Dollars for Thar coal and energy project where a number of companies had invested to produce massive electricity for the first time on basis of indigenous reserves of coal.

He said that companies involved in Thar coal and energy project also invested to do philanthropic ventures related to provision of health, education, skill development, and employment opportunities to local people.

The governor appreciated the excellent work being done by NGOs like GCT who had been serving in areas like Thar that was considered to be one the most backward areas of the country as far as basic facilities to their people were concerned. He said the govt would provide utmost support to such NGOs working for bona fide causes in backward areas like Thar.

He also eulogized the talent of local students of the school in doing educational and co-curricular activities, especially shown in tableaus present on the occasion, showing well that youth of Thar were truly multi-talented and they were bound to do progress whenever they were given opportunities to excel in life.

Member National Assembly Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, belonging to Tharparkar, said that government should invest more to build school, basic health facilities, and water supply projects for uplift of impoverished people of Thar. He said that Tharparkar presented the best example of inter-faith harmony in the entire country where 50 per cent population belonged to a religious minority as people belonging to different communities lived here peacefully.

Deputy Commissioner District Tharparkar Dr. Hafeez Ahmed Siyal said that federal government should provide assistance as Tharparkar needed 500 more reverse-osmosis water filtration plants for provision of clean water facility to over 1.6 million population of Thar.

Also speaking on the occasion, Chief Executive Officer of GCT Zahid Saeed said that his trust had been striving hard to achieve the target of enrolling over 100,000 children in schools of the trust that were all operated in rural and far-flung areas of Sindh to support under-privileged communities.

He said that at present 33,000 students were enrolled in 160 schools of the GCT, which were functioning fully on charitable basis to support the cause of promoting quality education among children of impoverished localities. He said that state-of-the-art building of present school had been completed in just 15 months with a cost of Rs 45 million provided by two donors of the GCT. The school building having 27 classrooms besides computer and science laboratories would accommodate over 1500 students of Thar area.

Earlier, Tanveer Ahmed, GCT vice-president, and Mohammad Musaddiq, director of Siddiq Leather, being donors of the Mithi school building project also spoke on the occasion.

The governor on the occasion met 10 students of GCT schools in Thar who recently secured positions in Thar Science Festival.