HYDERABAD: Sindh Minister for Education and Labour Saeed Ghani has said that the provincial government had proposed closure of primary schools in the first phase of a national strategy to contain the second wave of Covid-19 but the proposal was not accepted by the federal authorities.
He was speaking at a reception organised by the Sindh Khanzada Ittehad and later speaking to reporters here on Tuesday.
Explaining the Sindh government’s view that appeared different from the stand it had taken when the first wave of the virus swept through the country, he said students were imparted education in a regular and normal manner last year and until February this year. They had completed their syllabus to some extent and that is why they were promoted under a policy. But this time round, students have not even read the syllabus that had already been curtailed because they did not go to school.
Mr Ghani said the Sindh government’s argument was not agreed upon. As such, the proposal of closing only primary schools and keeping secondary schools, colleges and universities open in the first phase was not accepted, he added.
The minister said that for the time being, all schools were being closed from Nov 26 to Dec 24 and the next day winter vacations would start and continue till Jan 10.
Commenting on the performance of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, he remarked: “Whenever PPP forms government, people expect that poor will be served; and whenever a PML-N government is elected, people expect that only investors will flourish. But now when PTI is ruling over the country, everyone be it the poor, investor or anyone else, is facing difficulties. Even media and judiciary are facing problems. This government is not serving anyone”.
The minister noted that the PTI government’s economic policies had rendered a lot of people jobless though the party had promised 10 million new jobs. He pointed out that around 10,000 people had been sacked from Pakistan Steel in Sindh and around 3,500 from PIA. Employees were still being retrenched from PTV, Radio Pakistan and various government departments whereas professionals and workers in private sector media organisations were also being sacked.
He said if people wanted a better system in future, they would have to support Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) which, according to him, was launched to ensure that only a person who was elected with a majority of votes in a transparent election should become prime minister. He said PDM was not struggling to make a particular person premier or oust anyone from PM’s office, but was fighting for the cause of masses.
Mr Ghani said PPP had expected it would win most seats in Gilgit-Baltistan but it did not happen unfortunately. In the previous elections in Hyderabad, PPP bagged more votes when compared with the past elections, he said, and added that PPP would secure seats in Karachi and Hyderabad whenever transparent elections were held. “The day is not far when PPP’s candidates will be elected in Hyderabad and Karachi with a majority,” he added.
The minister observed that today prices of sugar, flour, vegetables, pulses and rice had substantially gone up which had never been seen in a true democratic government in the past. A genuinely elected government would have increased salaries of government employees and benefited farmers, he said.
He claimed that the country’s economy today was the weakest in the last 70 years. “The [Covid-19] pandemic hit the country in February whereas the national economy had stood destroyed even before February,” he argued, and wondered that the PTI government attributed the poor economy to the outbreak.
Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2020