Financial support, merit hiring vital for school adopters

AFP

KARACHI: Sindh Text Board (STB) should re-utilise its books to avoid wastage of resources in printing of new books while teachers should be hired on merit to ensure proper education in schools.
Former Governor Sindh Lt Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider addressing ‘Adopt-a-School Policy’ (AASP) organised by Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) in collaboration with the Education and Literacy Department of Sindh on Tuesday said he personally adopted schools in the marginalised areas of Karachi and has spent around Rs 50 million in their improvement.
Retired private individuals can prove to be a great asset in adopting and operating schools and need to be properly motivated to contribute, he said. The shortage of staff and financial burden has one of the obstacles in adopting schools particularly for private/individual adopters.
Government should provide financial help to adopters, which will motivate them, said Haider. 
The goal of the discussion was to refine and define models of school partnerships for school improvement in Sindh. 
Over 60 people included educationists, school adopters, NGOs and government representatives participated in the event and presented needed changes recommendations.
Dr Fazlullah Pechuho Additional Chief Secretary of Education and Literacy Department said if recruitment was done on merit, the results would always be positive.
Private Public Partnership Act needs to be amended to better suit the needs of the private sector, towards which work has already been initialised.
The private sector needs to be given flexibility on the hiring of teachers, so that they can hire teachers from the market instead of just providing capacity building for government teachers.
He emphasised both the private and public sectors need to have altruistic motives in helping others and not focus on monetary profit. He said to help improve facilitation by the government a director for private public partnership would soon be installed to coordinate with the private sector.
The private sector can work on opening training institutes for the capacity building of teachers for which physical infrastructure can be provided by the government.
Aziz Kabani said Prof Anita Ghulam Ali and Moinuddin Haider established PPP community partnerships for the improvement of government schools initiated the AASP.
Kabani gave an overview of the school adoption process and said 256 schools were currently being supported by the AASP.
Saeeda Leghari member AASP steering committee said she has been an adopter for the last 6 years and has faced a lot of resistance in running of schools. Government school headmasters and teachers have sabotaged school premise on purpose to undermine the efforts of the adopters. She said in some radical areas, schools could become a security hazard for those who open them. Government should provide security to those who were trying to help the country.
Leghari said she was in the process of establishing an adopter association, which would provide a collective voice for the various adopters.
Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) Director Programmes Baela Raza Jamil said, “There is a room for a lot of improvement in the field of education in Sindh.” 
The education sector faces low enrolment, low learning outcomes, poor governance and poor facilities, she said.
The need of the hour is to focus on the financing and governance aspect of the AASP and other options to improve the current situation.

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