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KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has constituted a five-member committee to improve the Sindh School Education Standards and Curriculum (SSES&C) Bill-2015 and submit its recommendations to him within the next seven days.

He was presiding over a meeting on education on Monday.

The chief minister was informed that the teachers were not properly trained, classrooms or schools lacked basic facilities and there was lack of motivation on the part of teachers.

Mr Shah believed the entire system needed to be overhauled and reformed to produce better results.

He said the cabinet had decided to regularise the services of NTS pass contract teachers.

“Even though the number of teachers working in Sindh is around 150,000, education is not improving,” he added.

The chief minister said he wanted to establish a top class training academy for teachers.

“A parallel curriculum council will also be established to develop content for textbooks according to ground requirements and as per international standard,” he said.

Murad wants quality of groundwater assessed

He suggested that promotions and facilities to teachers should be linked with their qualification, training, expertise and professionalism.

“The teachers who fail to qualify training programmes will be taken out of the teaching profession. They will be given three opportunities to quality each and every course.

“These in-service courses will be an ongoing training process,” he said, and assigned the task to the education department to establish the training academy with the help of a well-reputed organisation within the next four years.

“Once the academy starts functioning, the training programmes will be started,” he added.

Former education secretary Fazal Pechuho said the SSES&C bill was a bill of reforms.

“If it is implemented in true letter and spirit, the education system will improve as envisaged by the chief minister,” he said.

Mr Shah constituted a committee with education and law ministers, education secretary, Mr Pechuho and Aziz Uqaili to review the contents of the bill and suggest further improvements to amend it within next seven days.

“On the basis of its recommendations, leading educationists from different organisations will be invited to develop a 10-year education reforms programme to overhaul the education system in the province,” the chief minister said.

PHED meeting

Presiding over another meeting on provision of safe drinking water to the people of the province which was attended by Minister for Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Fayaz Butt, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, P&D chairman Mohammad Waseem, principal secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, PHE dept Secretary Tamizuddin Khero and other officers concerned, Mr Shah directed the PHED to assess quality of groundwater from the sweet water zone, which supplies 122mgd of water to meet total requirement of 340mgd, as reports indicated that its quality is deteriorating and quantity shrinking.

The chief minister was informed that according to the new population census, 24.91 million population of Sindh or 52 per cent is urban and 22.9 million or 47.98 per cent is rural.

“The PHED serves 31.2 million population, which is 65.24 per cent of the province.”

Mr Fayaz Butt said that 184 urban water supply schemes, including 13 RO plants, were working in the sweet water zones of Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur, Naushehroferoze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Qambar, Kashmore and Dadu.

The chief minister said he had reports that various schemes of PHED needed to be improved.

On this, the PHED secretary said he had proposed 1,671 schemes for overhauling while his department had prepared a plan for 2,225 new water supply and drainage schemes at a cost of Rs97 billion.

Mr Shah directed him to work out on a priority list and then float a summary for approval.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2018