KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Education, Labour and Human Resources Saeed Ghani has said that he alone cannot do anything for education as minister as he needs officers, teachers and students to support him in his work.
He expressed these views while addressing students of the Government College of Commerce and Economics during their assembly on Monday morning. Later, he also chaired a high-level meeting of the Directorate of Colleges.
Like in schools, the minister has declared assembly compulsory in all colleges across the province at 8.30am. He has also said that he will himself be making surprise visits at any assembly in any college daily at random.
He said that if he had an option today about which stage of life he would like to relive, he would like to go back to college. “This I say because the four years one spends in college are supposed to be the best years of any person’s life,” he said.
‘If any department needs to be changed, they give it to me’
About the Government College of Commerce and Economics, the provincial minister said that it was his own college and he felt like his soul belonged there. “My habit is such that whoever joins the department starts work from the first day, but education is the first department where I took a week to start work because I wanted to come to this college first,” he said.
The minister said he wanted to start his work from where he had studied himself and that he was glad he could come here with some of his old college friends. He met some senior teachers at the college, who had also taught him. He said that it was his promise to the students of the college that he would turn it into an ideal college in a short period of time.
He shared glimpses of his own life with the students, telling them how he hailed from an ordinary family and that his father was a poor man and grandparents illiterate, who had never even held a pen in their hands and worked as labourers. “Still, my grandfather educated my father enough to enable him to get a job in a bank. Even though my father’s education fee was low, my grandmother had to sell her clothes and household utensils in order to pay his fees,” he said.
Mr Ghani said that all colleges are to have a proper assembly in the morning. Replying to a question, he said that Syed Sardar Shah has done a fine job as the education department is a challenging area. “If any department needs to change, they give it to me,” he remarked.
In response to another question, he said that the problem of infrastructure in schools and colleges is being solved. He said that in the first phase, these schools are being made model schools where enrolment is brought up to more than 80 per cent so that the students can get maximum facilities. He also expressed his concern over the lack of enrolment of students in colleges across the province and directed the secretary colleges to utilise all resources to increase enrolment in the colleges in the province.
“I have visited various schools and will attend their assemblies by going to one of the schools or colleges daily. I have also instructed all the senior officers, including secretary colleges and DG colleges to participate in school or college assemblies,” he said.
While answering another question, Saeed Ghani said he supports curriculum change over time. “I will work on the curriculum with the help of experts,” he said, adding that sports activities should be promoted in all public colleges.
Presiding over a high-level meeting of the Directorate of Colleges later the minister discussed the situation of the colleges across the province, including the number of students, principals, professors, assistant professors etc.
While the maintenance and refurbishment fund for the 327 government colleges in the province is only Rs225 million, there may be an increase needed. The minister also ordered a report be prepared as soon as possible in the department regarding promotion and other issues of the teachers so that their problems can be solved on a priority basis.
Saeed Ghani also ordered the starting of special evening classes in colleges where needed as many people are unable to continue their educational activities due to employment.
He said that the report should be made on filling up of vacant posts in the education department and separately for the employees of grades one to four and ordered tests at IBA Karachi and Sukkur for the employees of grades five to 15. For posts above grade 17, he said that they should be sent to the Public Service Commission.
Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020