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Sindh schools facing financial problems

LARKANA, Sept 28, 2007: The higher secondary and high schools in Sindh are facing financial problems as funds for the School Management Committees (SMCs) have been stopped, sources in the Education Department said on Thursday.

The Sindh government in March 2006 issued orders to stop charging non-governmental fees from students they said and added the running expenses of schools were to be met through the SMCs under Education Reforms Programme.

Funds to the SMCs in Sindh were blocked through telephonic instructions from the Reform Support Unit (RSU) on August 3, 2007, said the sources. And since then the SMCs' funds had been frozen.

On Sept 25, 2007 the Executive District Officer, (Education), Larkana Muhammed Azam Memon in a letter to Secretary Education pointed out towards cropped up problems in schools in Larkana after blocking of the SMC funds. At present Rs7.368 million for 2005-06 are still in Account#4023-3 National Bank, Larkana, he said in the letter.

The EDO could not release these funds to concerned SMCs for it being seized. The EDO said a plan for distribution of the amount duly approved by the district government, Larkana was submitted in March 2007 but the entire process was reversed after the officer sitting in the RSU ordered to reverse again, by telephone.

The delay in the release of sanctioned funds to the SMCs had put school managements under constraints. The management showed its inability to arrange material for daily use from the market which had badly affected educational activities in the district, the EDO (Education) said.

Heads of schools which regularly receive SMC funds had apprehended, the situation if continues will harm educational standards. The EDO had requested the Secretary Education Sindh either to accord approval for the release of funds or withdraw orders of not collecting non-governmental funds from students to meet regular expenses. The delay was compounding the problem, the EDO said in the letter. Dawn
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