KARACHI, Dec 5: The provincial government on Wednesday decided to introduce a bill in the Sindh Assembly for the establishment of a Sindh Higher Education Commission.

A meeting of the Sindh education department, held at the Chief Minister’s House, also decided that the CM would be the controlling authority of the provincial body.

The meeting was informed that after the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the subject of education had been devolved and Sindh had been entrusted with the task of curriculum development, higher education/Higher Education Commission, Dawood College of Engineering and Technology and Sindh Madressatul Islam College.

The meeting was told that the HEC had granted between 8,000 and 10,000 scholarships to other provinces, while only 800 scholarships had been provided to Sindh. The Supreme Court had also directed the provinces to enact their own laws, the meeting was told.

Education Secretary Mukhtiar Ahmed Soomro presented the salient features of the draft bill to be tabled in the assembly, including the composition of the commission, procedure of meetings, powers and its functions, provision and utilisation of funds, etc.

It was said that the HEC was receiving its share from the federal constituted fund while the province was not being released its share.

It was decided that after passing of the bill all expenditures of the commission and universities would be borne by the federal government till the next national finance commission award.

It was also decided to move a summary to the federal government for the release of the withheld funds as per commitment.

The meeting also decided to make legislation to provide free and compulsory education to all children from the age of five to 16 years (primary to secondary).

CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that all ways of progress, development and prosperity lay in the furtherance and promotion of education and the government under its 5-Es programme had committed to provide free and compulsory education to children up to matriculation.

The meeting also proposed to provide funds to the managements of private schools in order to ensure free education for 10 per cent deserving children in every institution.

The meeting was attended by Senior Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Haq, Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro, Information Minister Sharjeel Memon and others.

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