KARACHI: Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah on Thursday informed the provincial assembly that all private schools were bound to enroll 10pc poor students free of cost under the law, but many of them were not complying with it.
Answering a call attention notice given by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmaker Mangla Sharma, he said that the education department had been receiving complaints that many schools were not following the policy of free enrollment of 10 per cent deserving students. “It is pity that this has not been implemented in letter and spirit,” he deplored.
The minister said that it was the responsibility of the provincial government to provide education to a child aged five to 16 years as it was a constitutional binding that children should be given free education.
The MQM-P lawmaker said in her call attention notice that private schools were not following the free enrollment of 10pc poor children, asking as to what steps were taken by the education department in this regard.
Sardar Shah said that there had been a mushroom growth of private schools as the government did not have enough resources to carry all the burden by itself.
He said that Sindh was pioneer in carrying out a census of private school across the country. “The number of private school has reached 11,700,” he said, adding that earlier the provincial government did not know how many schools were there in the province.
The education minister said that earlier there was no data of enrollment in private schools. “We conducted screening of schools during the census of private schools,” he added.
Gorakh Hills development
In his call attention notice, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s lone member Syed Abdur Rasheed asked the culture and tourism department as to why the chairlift project at Gorakh Hills had not been completed.
He said that it was a place that could have become the second hill station after Murree, but the audit report said that the Gorakh Hill Authority failed to achieve the objective.
Replying to the notice, Minister Syed Sardar Shah said that 258,000 acres were earmarked for the Gorakh Hill station, but the land could not be transferred on the order of the Supreme Court.
He said that the provincial government had invited a firm for installation of chairlift at the Gorakh Hill under the public-private partnership mode, but the matter remained pending disposal due to non-transfer of land.
As many as 20 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle delivered farewell speeches in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday which was likely to be dissolved on Friday (today).
Mostly members greeted each other and also Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari. Some opposition lawmakers also criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party for its ‘failure’ in serving people during its five-year term.
PPP’s Sharmila Saheba Faroqui said that her party always supported a woman as deputy speaker (Rehana Leghari) and other women members were also given opportunities.
She criticised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Khawaja Asif over his recent ‘derogatory’ remarks against women in the National Assembly and demanded that this culture should be stopped.
The PPP lawmaker also expressed dissatisfaction over a chance to private members to move their bills. “During the last tenure [2013 to 2018], we [Sindh Assembly] had passed many private bills, but this time around, only few private members bill were tabled,” she added.
Rashid Khilji of the MQM-P said that the provincial assembly was unable to play its role in resolving public issues in the tenure. He said that during five years, he and his party’s other members tried to highlight the problems of their respective constituencies, but the assembly did not play its role which it should have played.
Mangla Sharma of the MQM-P thanked her party leadership for keeping her at the top in the priority list for women reserved seats. She also suggested an amendment to the Constitution so that a non-Muslim could also be elected as the prime minister.
She also suggested training sessions for new lawmakers who would come to assembly for the very first time as they did know about the rules and procedures of the assembly business.
PPP’s Syeda Marvi Faseeh, Raja Razzaque, Kulsoom Chandio, Yousuf Baloch, Saleem Baloch, Taj Muhammad Mallah, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Munawar Wassan and Lal Chand Ukrani; MQM-P’s Syed Hashim Raza, Shahana Ashar, Ghulam Jilani, Rabia Khatoon, Sanjay Perwani, Nasir Hussain Qureshi, and PTI dissident Shahar Yar Khan Shar also spoke during the session.
Later, the house was adjourned to Friday.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2023