KARACHI, June 24 Sindh Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Huq informed the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday that 27 buildings of schools, colleges and hostels were occupied by law-enforcement agencies.

He was replying to a question asked by Humera Alwani, a PPP member of the provincial assembly.

Giving details of these buildings, Pir Mazhar said “A building of government girls middle school Chhor Old is occupied by the army in Umerkot; a combined building of a hostel for government Noor Muhammad high school and Muslim college Hyderabad; hostel of government boys higher secondary school comprehensive Latifabad No 10 and part of the building of the government Seth Hafiz high school Hyderabad are occupied by Rangers; two secondary boys schools are occupied by Rangers and police in Karachi; the government girls primary school Mushtaq Hajano, UC Shah Alam Shah, Taluka Matiari, is occupied by Rangers; the government girls middle school Karan and government girls/boys primary school Naparkot are occupied by police in Shikarpur; the government college of education, Ghotki, is occupied by Rangers.”

Six colleges/hostels were under the occupation of Rangers in Karachi, he said. They are the government degree boys college, Jungle Shah, Keamari; the hostel of DJ Sindh government science college, the hostel of Jamia Millia government college Malir, the hostel and principal's bungalow at government college of physical education, the government college for women 11-F, New Karachi, and government degree and science commerce college, Lyari.

Two hostels of government degree college Kali Mori, Hyderabad, and the hostel of the Muslim government college are under the occupation of Rangers. The government degree college of Shaheed Benazirabad is also under the occupation of Rangers; the hostel of the government degree boys college, Larkana, and the building of the physics department of the government degree college, Ghotki, is also under the occupation of Rangers.

The minister said he had requested Interior Minister Rehman Malik to ensure the evacuation of schools/colleges' premises in Sindh from Rangers and other LEAs.

He said the relevant authorities had invited the law-enforcement agencies to maintain peace in their respective areas and they had set up their offices or residences in school buildings in different towns of the province.

PPP MPA Ayesha Khoso said a school building in Jacobabad was under the occupation of LEAs but it was not mentioned in the list provided to the members. The minister said he had taken notice of the omission.

A total of 5,256 schools in the province are functioning without schedules of new expenditures (SNEs). However, funds had now been sanctioned and would be released soon, the minister for education said while answering another question by Ms Alwani.

He explained that an SNE sanction was a must to provide schools with new or more furniture and other facilities.

The minister gave district-wise details of schools functioning without SNEs.

1,000 schools serve as

guest houses

MPA Jam Tamachi Unar, raising a supplementary question, said most schools across Sindh were being used as Autaqs (guest houses) by Waderas (feudals) and asked if the education department was carrying out a survey regarding the number of students or enrolment in those schools and their functioning positions.

The minister replied that during a survey, about 1,000 schools were identified as being used as Autaqs. “We are considering taking action against people responsible for it,” he said.

Responding to a supplementary question by MQM MPA Aleemur Rehman, the minister said there was no need to hand over non-SNE schools to non-governmental organisations, as the government could provide funds for their functioning or improvement.

He informed the house in response to a question by Ms Alwani that 1,884 boys and girls schools were functioning in the province under NGOs. They include 102 girls schools and 435 boys schools in Kashmore-Kandhkot, 52 boys/girls schools in Tharparkar, 66 boys schools in Badin, 49 girls schools in Karachi, 15 primary schools in Shikarpur, 2 in Thatta, 128 boys and 43 girls schools in Sukkur, 6 boys and 1 girls school in Tando Allahyar, 35 boys and 12 girls schools in Ghotki, 142 girls and 86 combined schools in Khairpur, 3 boys and 4 girls schools in Larkana and 67 combined schools in Kambar district.

Answering a question by Nadeem Bhutto, the education minister denied that non-Sindhi teachers were appointed against the posts of Sindhi-language teachers (SLTs) in Karachi schools.

He clarified that due to the unavailability of SLTs at certain schools, it was allowed to assign teachers of any other subject at home in the Sindhi language to teach the subject.

Answering yet another question by Ms Alwani, the minister said 21,126 posts in grades one to 20 were vacant in the education department. The posts from grades one to 15 were filled through recruitment committees and the rest through the provincial public service commission.—PPI