Sindh’s education boards told to follow AKU-EB’s system from 2020

Updated November 16, 2019

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The SHC asks chief secretary to form a committee to apply National Curriculum Policy 2006 in Sindh. — Reuters/File
The SHC asks chief secretary to form a committee to apply National Curriculum Policy 2006 in Sindh. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has directed all education boards in the province to ensure implementation of a court order in letter and spirit with regard to upgrade of the curriculum and examination system on the pattern of The Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB) from 2020.

A single bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar further directed the boards to submit details as to how they had implemented that relevant paragraph of the court’s Aug 2 order passed in a constitutional petition filed at the SHC’s circuit bench at Hyderabad.

The bench issued these directives while hearing an appeal of a female officer of the education department regarding preparation of an alleged fake invigilation bill by another education officer for annual examination 2011.

She alleged in the appeal, filed in 2017, that a senior education officer along with an official of the National Accountability Bureau approached and pressurised her to release the payment.

At the outset, IBA registrar Engineer Zahid Khan Khand, who was appointed by the court as amicus curiae (friend of the court), submitted his recommendations/suggestions.

The SHC asks chief secretary to form a committee to apply National Curriculum Policy 2006 in Sindh

The provincial law officer as well as representatives of the Karachi, Sukkur and Larkana education boards failed to submit the criteria of amount specified for invigilation and other expenses incurred on the examinations, as sought by the court in the last hearing.

The bench ordered all boards of education to ensure compliance of the Aug 2 order regarding upgrade of the curriculum and examination system on the pattern of the Aga Khan Examination Board “in its letter and spirit from the year 2020 onwards”.

The secretary of universities and boards was directed to ensure compliance with the court’s order.

The IBA registrar pointed out that despite a federal policy regarding curriculum adopted in 2006, which was being implemented in other three provinces, the Sindh education department was yet to apply the same here.

He added that the policy was also applicable to all the universities, colleges and schools.

The bench ordered that the policy shall be applied in Sindh from 2020 onwards and directed the Sindh chief secretary to constitute a high-level committee in this regard within one week of receipt of the copy of this order.

The proposed committee would be headed by Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, the vice chancellor of the IBA-Sukkur, and comprise of chairmen of the boards of education, chairman of the Sindh Textbook Board (STBB), director curriculum, former and incumbent managing director of the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), the VCs of the Sindh, Karachi and Khairpur universities, secretary schools and colleges secretary.

The court said that all the boards and universities would be responsible and they shall come forward with an undertaking in this regard.

Noting that the curriculum policy and publication of books related to the STBB and director curriculum, the court directed them to ensure that books shall be made available as per curriculum and as per standard of the National Curriculum Policy 2006, as applied in the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan education departments.

The IBA registrar stated that normally the Aga Khan Board recommended the textbooks of Punjab and KP textbook boards instead of STBB, which needed to be upgraded and ensure that the books published were at par with other provinces.

Issuing notices to the STBB chairman and the director curriculum for the next date, the bench asked them to submit an undertaking and mechanism that from 2020 onwards textbooks would be available a month prior to the commencement of the academic session in the province.

The bench directed to send the IBA registrar’s suggestions/recommendations to all education boards asking them to consider the same or come forward with a better proposal.

The court told all chairmen of the boards to sit together and submit their policy to remove nuisance/unfair means of cheating in examinations and submit their compliance reports/better proposal on Dec 11.

The chief secretary was told to supervise that process and its implementation.

Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2019