KARACHI: Sindh Chief Secretary Asif Hyder Shah on Tuesday directed the authorities to ensure timely provision of textbooks to more than nine million children enrolled in over 50,000 government and private schools across the province.

Chairing a high-level meeting held to review the progress of education and health departments, the chief secretary promised release of funds to the Sindh Textbook Board (STBB) required for printing textbooks.

School Education Secretary Zahid Ali Abbasi informed the chief secretary that over 5.23m students were enrolled with 40,978 government schools and more than 3.9m children in 11,736 private schools across Sindh.

Similarly, he said that the education department had recruited 51,354 new schoolteachers through Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur.

CS asks authorities to ensure clean water, furniture in over 40,000 govt schools in province

“The chief secretary reiterated that access to education is the basic right of every child,” said a statement issued after the meeting.

He emphasised the provision of clean water and furniture in schools, along with the need to focus on non-formal education for out-of-school children.

Furthermore, he assured the provision of necessary funds to the STBB to ensure timely provision of textbooks to students.

Over 14,000 doctors, 63,000 nurses in province

Health Secretary Rehan Iqbal Baloch informed the meeting that there are 14,089 doctors and 63,000 paramedical staff working in the provincial health department, with more than 1,000 ambulances in various hospitals across the province.

“Additionally, over 300 ambulances are providing free services in different areas of the province through the Sindh Integrated Health Services,” he informed the CS.

It said that the chief secretary called for special attention to the immunisation programme to achieve optimal results and ensure access to vaccines for every child.

He also directed the secretaries of education and health to ensure the attendance of teachers and doctors and to improve treatment facilities and other amenities in hospitals.

The meeting decided to enhance treatment facilities at district and divisional levels to provide standardised healthcare services within the districts for the relief of the people who often needed to travel to Karachi or other major cities for medical treatment.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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