SPLA seeks rise in educational budget
Hyderabad, June 20, 2008: The Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association on
Thursday demanded raise to four per cent of GDP in educational budget,
formulation of a scientific and secular education policy with consultation of
academics and teachers, change in outdated syllabus and mother tongue as medium
Unfolding SPLA's 34-point charter of demands, the
association's secretary Prof Liaquat Aziz told journalists at Sachal Sarmast
Arts and Commerce College that the ban imposed on teachers' bodies by the former
Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim should be lifted and show-cause notices,
suspension orders and orders about forced leave should be cancelled.
the pattern of Punjab, the NWFP and Balochistan, 863 lecturers of Sindh should
be regularised and their five month's salaries should be released, he
He demanded that the posts of college teachers should be
upgraded on the pattern of university teachers, 62 seats of teachers in
grade-20, 482 in grade-19 and 458 in grade-18, which were vacant for quite
sometime, should be filled through promotion, and minimum wages of cooperative
lecturers should be raised to at least Rs10,000 per month.
said that as per decision of Sindh cabinet, the secretary of education, director
general of colleges and regional director working on OPS should be immediately
removed and college professors should be appointed to the posts on the basis of
seniority and merit.
He called for shifting the offices of director
general of Sindh colleges from Karachi to Hyderabad and raise in non-attractive
allowance announced by the PPP government in 1994.
He said that 10-year
ban on transfers of lecturers, who were selected by the Sindh Public Service
Commission in 2002, should be lifted and on the pattern of university teachers,
the college teachers should be given medical allowance of Rs2,000 per
Prof Aziz demanded that higher secondary scheme should be
abolished and the status of schools should be raised to colleges, college
teachers academy should be reactivated and professional colleges for girls
awarding degrees in B.Com, B.C.S., B.B.A. should be opened in each
He demanded that the Rangers should be asked to vacate the
hostels of Government Muslim Science College and Government College Kali Mori,
and only professors having commerce degrees should be appointed as principals in
commerce colleges as per recommendations of HEC.
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Educational institutions: bastions of learning, knowledge and training? They should be, but
are they? In Pakistan, some schools, especially in the rural areas, present an
entirely different picture. According to a report, in Fata schools have emerged
as hotbeds of corruption. Political authorities are said to hand out contracts
for the construction of school buildings to the tribal elders to win their
support for government plans. It is then left at the discretion of these chiefs
to determine the fate of these buildings. Usually buildings are constructed but
not all of them are run as schools. Some are used as hujras - male guest houses.
Directorate officials claim that the political turmoil, the worsening law and
order situation and burgeoning levels of poverty have raised the dropout rate.
That may explain why some schools are not functional. But what about the
It is disquieting that this trend is part of the larger
phenomenon of dysfunctional schools all over the country. Thousands of ghost
schools exist in different provinces - they are shown in the records with a
teaching staff that draws salaries but no institution functions on the ground.
This, along with widespread absenteeism and the 'visa system' through which
teachers pay a portion of their salaries to high-ups in order to secure their
absences, has contributed to impaired functioning. It is a pity that education
which is the harbinger of hope for the future is being thwarted so blatantly.
Dysfunctional schools put the entire system in disarray. They exacerbate the
problem of the dearth of schools as the ones that exist and consume funds do not
serve the purpose they were meant for. There is a relentless demand for a rise
in the amount of funds that should be allocated to the education sector. But
with existing resources being brazenly misused for purposes which have nothing
to do with education, is this demand valid? Given the low level of spending on
education in Pakistan no one would deny the need to enhance the education
budget. But it is important that the focus should be on capacity-building,
monitoring and accountability. Dawn
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