KARACHI, Feb 8: The Sindh education department has sought the chief minister’s approval to change the schedule of summer vacation in schools and colleges this year to avoid classes during Ramazan beginning in the July end.

The decision to allow the educational institutions across the province to observe summer vacation during July and August instead of June and July was taken at a meeting of the education department steering committee held at the NJV High School on Wednesday.

Presided over by Sindh Senior Minister for Education Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, the meeting was attended by education secretary Mohammad Siddique Memon, special secretary Riyaz Memon, Sindh educational boards’ chairmen, director general of colleges and regional directors of schools and colleges.

A spokesman for the education department said the chief minister’s approval had been sought to avoid classes during the holy month starting in July this year.

Speaking to journalists, Pir Mazhar said that students from Class I to III would be promoted to next class on the basis of a written test instead of the current practice of holding annual exams of different subjects.

This year, he added, the annual exam of students from Class IV to VIII would be completed by March 30.

SSC, HSSC exams Regarding the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) annual examinations-2012, he said the meeting decided that theory papers of the SSC (Part I and II) across the province would begin on April 5.

“It will be mandatory upon all educational boards of the province to announce their results by July 15,” he added.

Only the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) had been allowed to declare the results by July 31, keeping in view the large number of students enrolled with it, he said.

He said it was also decided that the theory papers of the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) annual exams across Sindh would begin on May 7.

All the educational boards of the province, except the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi, must declare results of the HSSC exams by Aug 31, he said, adding that the BIEK had been asked to notify results by Sept 15.

About degree exams, the meeting decided that the public sector universities of Sindh would notify their schedule to the education department before exams.

The minister said that the chief minister, who is also controlling authority of all educational boards in the province, had directed the heads of all institutions concerned, directors of schools, regional directors (colleges), and boards to ensure that the mandatory requirement of 75 per cent attendance was fully met before accepting examination forms of candidates.

Referring to the lingering issue of setting up centres for the SSC and HSSC exams, the minister said that all educational boards of the province had been directed to set up exam centres at public-sector schools and colleges only. “No private educational institution shall be forced to spare its premises for examination centres,” he said. However, he added, exam centres could be established at the institutions which voluntarily offered their premises for this purpose.

He said the meeting also decided that teachers would be required to take examination works as part of their duty. Action would be initiated against those who would refuse to do so, he said.

It was also decided that non-gazetted teaching and non-teaching staff would not be assigned the invigilation duty in colleges.

Similarly, non-teaching staff would also not be assigned invigilation duty at schools.

Scouts week

It was decided that scouting and girl guiding activities would be introduced in schools and colleges across the province.

In this regard, the committee decided that scouts and girl guides week would be celebrated in the third week of February each year.

To avoid disruptions during the academic session in the public sector schools and colleges, it was decided that teaching staff and field officers of the education department would be transferred and posted during the summer vacation only.

19,000 vacancies

The education department’s resource support unit earlier informed the minister that around 19,000 posts were vacant in the public sector schools across the province. Subsequently, the minister instructed the officials concerned to expedite the process of recruitment of teachers by placing advertisements in dailies.

At the outset, the minister said that colleges would have a sports quota in admissions. The decision had been taken to promote sports activities in educational institutions, he added.

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