KARACHI: Biometric mapping of at least 95 per cent of the total strength of the workforce of the Sindh education ministry has been completed and the remaining will soon be done, it emerged on Thursday.
Officials in the Sindh government said biometric mapping of over 185,000 employees in the education sector — both teaching and non-teaching staff — had been completed, which was 95pc of the total workforce of the ministry.
“The biometric verification will be integrated with the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) and used to align salary payments, attendance in schools and resource rationalisation,” said an official quoting a government report.
The official claimed that such measures would discourage ghost employees and improve monetary checks.
The officials added that early childhood care and education policy 2015 was being implemented, which had created a new teaching cadre for early childhood teaching.
Reports compiled by the ministry said the government had introduced a complaint mechanism called ILMI for stakeholders. The complainant could register a complaint by sending an SMS on 8398.
The endowment fund of Rs825 million had been provided in the last seven years to 8,038 students of more than 35 higher education institutions and universities, the officials said.
They added that the management cadre in the ministry had been separated from the teaching cadre with new recruitment rules and competitive, performance-based and mandatory training-linked appointments and promotions for both.
Some 2,000 head teachers were appointed at 2,000 schools up to elementary level.
“We plan to appoint 6,700 more new headmasters in the next two years under the education management cadre (EMC),” said a senior official.
Besides, he added, three specialised sub-cadres had been established, which were: school executive service (SES), school management service (SMS) and school finance service (SFS).
Three rounds of merit-based teacher recruitments have been completed to recruit more than 30,000 teachers by conducting tests from recognised institutions like the University of Sindh, Institute of Business Administration Sukkur and the National Testing Service.
They said new teaching cadres had also been introduced to focus on early childhood teaching.
Among the new teachers, 552 were high school teachers, 4,969 junior school teachers, and 10,000 primary school teachers; the educators had been given pre-service training.
Besides, the officials said, student achievement tests had been conducted for 300,000 learners.
A monitoring and evaluation directorate was established with 225 monitors hired for 15 pilot districts; effective e-monitoring of schools had begun capturing real-time data on daily basis; this was supported by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), an official report said.
It added that the largest chunk of Sindh’s current budget, ie 28pc, was allocated for the education sector for fiscal year 2016-17.
The salary component of education ministry has increased by 7.4pc ‘only’, while the non-salary component has been increased by 23.8pc.
The officials said the key allocations in the non-salary budget for education were: Rs4.68 billion for school-specific budget; Rs5.4bn for repairs and maintenance of schools and colleges; Rs1bn for education management organisation; Rs1.5bn for school management committees; Rs1.8bn for school consolidation grants; Rs2bn for free textbooks; and Rs1.5bn for stipends for girl students.
“The allocation of Rs160.7bn for education includes allocations for higher education, technical education and medical education besides allocation for primary and secondary education,” said an official.
Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2017