‘Efforts afoot to achieve MDG 2’

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KARACHI: The Sindh government is striving hard to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 – achieve universal primary education – sending each and every child to school by 2017.
Sindh Senior Education and Literacy Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro talking to journalists on Thursday said, “We are striving hard to achieve MDG 2017 so that ‘education for all’ programme could be succeeded. And for that we are taking a number of steps,” he added.
Female education:  Encourage female education, the education department Sindh has decided providing annual stipend to every female student, a practice that was not carried out in the recent years.
Although the amount for annual stipend is not that big, but again for remote areas stipend would be Rs 3,500 and for other students it would be Rs 2,500 per female student, he told. The stipend would start from May this year.
Free books: Khuhro said in around 49,000 schools in Sindh, every child would be provided with free books. Supply of 5 million books of class 6 to 10 has already been started from April 7 this year. In the provision of free books a formal procedure would be adopted in this regard.
In every school a gathering would be made compulsory to disperse the books to the students. The distribution would be made under the supervision of supervisor and headmaster, said Khuhro.
Video of books distribution would be made compulsory. The headmasters and supervisors fail to summit videos would not remain at their jobs, he added.
We have revised the curriculum from class I to 4, therefore there are few problems in distribution of books of these classes as they carry some proofreading errors, he informed.
He made it clear some private schools purchased books of Sindh Text Book Board. Sometime confusion occurs because price is listed for only those books, which are suppose to be supplied to private schools only. I appeal to the non-private school kids parents’ that do not pay while getting books. If anybody insists make a video from your mobile and send us. We would take the action, minister said.
Libraries at primary schools: Minister told reporters he wanted to introduce concept of library in every primary school.
To enhance the vocabulary of students, every child of class 4 and 5 would be provided English to Sindhi and English to Urdu pictorial dictionaries. He said dictionaries would be school property. Apart from dictionaries every library would also be provided atlas.
Evening shifts at schools: Nisar Khuhro said he wanted to start evening shifts in schools, which were running morning shifts only. The purpose is to bring those poor children to schools that cannot go to schools, as most of them are child labours, he added.
I appeal communities to come forward and play its role in sending those kids to schools, he said.
Enhancing sports facilities at schools: Education minister vowed to encourage sports facilities at schools. Children could play cricket, hockey, football, throw-ball and other games.
He said for pre-primary students eight thousand units would be made for the students in primary schools so that kids who are busy in playing in streets could be tilted towards schools.
Sindh Education Foundation: Minister said Sindh Education Foundation at the moment was running 1,500 schools from its fund through community-based system.
We want to enhance the enrolment of students so that more students should be enrolled, he told. Through community level we would provide Rs 250 to Rs 350 for each child monthly.
Ghost schools: Minister said numbers of non-functional schools in Sindh were up to 4,000. He said steps were being taken to reduce such schools.
Instead of calling ghost schools, call them shelter less schools. We have directed revenue department/district administration department to identify shelter less schools. Also we have sought public representative’s to report such schools. We have asked them to identify at least 10 shelters less schools or closed school in their area.
Endowment fund: Providing the endowment fund to the lesser-privileged areas, we are taking every step. My efforts are to support students of less privileged areas for higher education. Generally endowment fund is kept for students to get quality and higher education. Bifurcation of endowment fund at district level would be made compulsory.
Model schools: He said at least one boy and one girl high school in every tehsil of Sindh out of 130 tehsils would be made a model school. They will be called ‘Happy School’. These schools would be fully equipped with library, laboratory and sports facilities.

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