KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that all candidates who had obtained at least 40pc marks in the test for the job of school teachers will be recruited on available posts in the taluka concerned as his government has revised the Teacher Recruitment Policy (TRP)-2021.

Addressing a press conference at CM House here on Tuesday, he said that the TRP 2021 had been revised to reduce the passing marks from 55pc for Muslim male candidates and 50pc for female and minority candidates to 40pc for all candidates in order to overcome the prevailing shortage of teachers.

“The recruitment of teachers will functionalise the remaining 4,250 dysfunctional schools in the province,” he said.

Provincial Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah, Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Adviser to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab and the secretaries concerned were present at the press conference.

Passing marks for job test reduced to 40pc from 55pc

“At present, 54,000 posts of teachers — 36,000 primary school teachers (PSTs) and 18,000 junior elementary school teachers (JESTs) — are lying vacant in the province,” the CM said, and added: “Looking into the dire need for teachers and their urgent induction and training, certain provisions of Teachers Recruitment Policy-2021 was needed to be relaxed/amended”.

Mr Shah said that there were 6,783 viable schools which remained closed due to unavailability of teachers. “Through the current recruitment process, 2,533 schools have been reopened but still 4,250 are without teachers,” he said. Therefore, he explained, it has become exigent to revise the TRP-2021 and reduce the criteria for passing marks.

Mr Shah said that even after lowering the passing marks to 40pc, 18 talukas would still be deficient in availability of teachers. “The candidates who secured less than 40pc marks in these 18 talukas of different districts will be given the opportunity to attend special courses and pass another test, to be conducted by a third party, for their recruitment,” he announced.

Water shortage

The chief minister said that no doubt there was a shortage of water in the system but “the problem we are facing is of distribution of water”. He said his government had serious reservations against the Indus River Authority (Irsa).

Provinces were told that there would be eight per cent shortage of water during Kharif; and that in the early Kharif season, Sindh and Punjab would face 22pc and 13pc shortage, respectively, he said. As a matter of fact, the shortage should be equal in Sindh and Punjab, he added.

The chief minister said that in April, Sindh faced 42pc shortage and if 10 days of May were added, it would come to 51pc.

He said that today (May 17), Indus had 89,800 cusecs inflow at Tarbela while on this day last year it was recorded at 60,400 cusecs. This means we have 29,400 cusecs more water this year and even then we are facing more shortage than the last year.

Last year, inflows at Kabul were recorded at 41,900 and at Jhelum 175,000 but distribution of water is defective while link canals have been opened in Punjab.

Taunsa is the last barrage of Punjab and Guddu is the first barrage of Sindh. When the water inflow at Taunsa was recorded recently, it was 66,000 cusecs and when it reached Guddu Barrage, it came to 38,000 cusecs.

“This means water was taken away before it could reach Sindh,” he argued, and said he was going to Islamabad on Wednesday to meet the prime minister with the request to settle the water distribution issue.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2022

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