LARKANA: A 19-member task force has been formed with Sherry Rehman, senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former ambassador to the United States, as its convener and MPAs and educationists as members to accelerate progress of education reforms being implemented in Sindh, says Sindh Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro.

Speaking to Dawn here on Friday, Mr Khuhro said the task force consisted of PPP MPAs Khuhrsheed Junejo (chairman of the standing committee for schools), Taimur Talpur (chairman standing committee for higher education), Hasnain Mirza, Nasir Ali Shah, Sardar Shah, Shamim Mumtaz, Muttahida Qaumi Movement MPA Faisal Ali Sabzwari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Irfanullah Marwat, PML-Functional MPA Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Dr Seema Zia, PPP MNA Shazia Marri, PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi, PPP Senator Saeed Ghani, MQM MNA Haider Abbas Rizvi, educationist hahnaz Wazir Ali, former vice chancellor of the University of Sindh Mazharul Haq Siddiqui, Sadiqa Salahuddin, Ateeq Riaz and Shahzad Roy, singer and head of an NGO.

He said the task force to be owned and driven by politicians was envisioned as a mechanism for fast-tracking conversation about education. It had been entrusted the task of assessing medium-term and long–term plans of the Sindh government as laid down in the Sindh Education Sector plan 2014 to 2018, he said.

He said the three most vital priorities to be adopted in Sindh Education Task Force Goals was to identify required legislative measures and policy instruments needed to accelerate progress in priority areas identified and to develop and execute a work plan for achieving identified goals and meet every six weeks to review progress on work plan.

Prior to this, he said, an advisory committee had been formed to review curriculum of primary schools, from class one to five and from five to eighth class.

The committee had reviewed and updated the syllabus from pre-primary class to four and the Sindh Textbook Board had already distributed 17,500,000 copies of the reviewed textbooks free of cost, he said.

The committee was busy reviewing the syllabi of classes from five to eight and hopefully the reviewed textbooks would be in the market in the next academic year, said the minister.

‘Curriculum Act to be tabled soon’

Mr Khuhro said that curriculum act would be soon be tabled in Sindh Assembly for approval. In the light of 25(a) of the 18th Amendment the Sindh education department was busy studying pros and cons of framing the act, he said.

The committee which was already reviewing the syllabi from pre-primary to class eighth would share its input and recommendations that might be incorporated in the act, said Mr Khuhro, adding it would be a breakthrough because by having done so Sindh would be the first among all provinces to implement the 18th Amendment in the education sector.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2014