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KHAIRPUR: Sindh Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has said that teachers’ associations are creating hurdles to the government’s efforts to reopen closed schools, and different measures being taken against ghost teachers.

They were criticised for decline in quality of education despite the fact that they were taking various steps to improve its quality but again the teachers’ associations were hampering their efforts, he said.

Mr Khuhro was speaking at a book launch and a ceremony for the distribution of job offer letters among the candidates who had qualified the NTS test for the jobs of junior school teachers and primary school teachers at Sachal auditorium here on Sunday.

The minister said that 38,000 schools out of a total of 43,000 in the province were functioning and the government was now appointing teaching staff to the rest of the 5,000 schools to make them functional too.

He said the teachers’ associations were creating hurdles to the reopening of schools as well as steps being taken against ghost teachers. The associations were also scuttling government efforts to improve quality of education, he said.

He urged the civil society and social welfare organisations to extend help to the government by providing information about ghost teachers living in their surrounding so that action could be taken against them.

He said that it was also a social responsibility of the educated section of the society to voluntarily educate children in their cities, villages and neighborhoods. Retired teachers should also come forward and play a role in this regard to contribute to creating an educated society, he said.

The minister said the presence of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at a ceremony and absence of party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in the other was party policy and only the leadership could explain it.

He said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a brave and courageous leader who was bestowed with many leadership qualities. He faced his adversaries with great courage and shouted to his attackers challenging them to come forward and defeat him if they thought they had such power, he said.

He said the brave leaders like Z.A. Bhutto and his daughter Benazir Bhutto had set great examples of leadership for the nation and similar qualities could be seen in PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Mr Khuhro said the situation in Punjab was much more different now as the PPP had emerged stronger in the most populated province of the country. The military courts were being set up after mutual discussion among political parties and decision of the parliament as the courts were against terrorism and not against general public, he said.

The central leader of PPP Jehangir Badar and former speaker of Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa assembly Karamat Ali Khan also spoke at the ceremony.

A total of 1,223 candidates received job offer letters for JSTs and PSTs handed out to them by Mr Khuhro and other PPP leaders.

Earlier, Mr Badar said at a launching ceremony for a book authored by Sumera Gul titled ‘Hamare Rahn­uma’ (our leaders) at Art Council that there were no differences between Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

He said that Bilawal had a bright future ahead and he would become the prime minister of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, PPP MNA Nafisa Shah distributed laptops among position holder students of pre-medical and pre-engineering of intermediate at a ceremony.

She said while speaking at the ceremony that whenever PPP came to power the party made serious efforts to end unemployment by offering jobs to the youth on the basis of merit.

Protest: A number of candidates of Ghotki district who had passed the NTS test for PST and JST demonstrated outside the Sachal auditorium in protest against denial of offer letters to them.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2014