KARACHI: Access to education, attendance of students and teachers, curriculum, monitoring and evaluation of school programmes were some of the topics discussed on day two of the second Sindh Joint Education Sector Review conducted by the Sindh education and literacy department on Wednesday.

On the subject of access to education, special scretary of schools Alia M. Shahid said efforts should be made to reduce the gap between enrolment and attendance in government schools. “A research study should be conducted to understand the cause of this gap,” she said. She also said that all students enrolled in katchi classes should also be registered as the data would help track out-of-school children.

Sindh secretary for education and literacy Dr Fazlullah Pechuho stressed the need for putting in place performance-based accountability mechanisms for teachers and others concerned. He also said around 6,900 teachers were absent from their classrooms and schools and only 400 of them showed up for biometric verification.

Head of the curriculum wing Dr Fouzia Khan recommended that the curriculum be reviewed and updated to align it with current requirements. She also said that there was a need for holding periodic workshops about education material and curriculum.

Director general of monitoring and evaluation Akram Khowaja wanted regular monitoring of the school improvement plans of school management committees (SMC) and to build capacity of SMC members. He said human resource management information system, monitoring and evaluation, biometrics, strengthening communication and school consolidation were some of the areas that needed special attention.

Many speakers recommended that there should be a dedicated unit within the education department to follow up on the education budget and how it is being utilised. They also suggested an internal audit mechanism.

Director of secondary schools, Hyderabad, Rasool Bux Shah recommended that district and taluka officers be equipped with human and administrative resources to help enhance their performance.

Published in Dawn September 29th, 2016