Despite enactment of a law to guarantee free and compulsory schooling for Sindh's children, the state of education in Pakistan's second most populous province lags behind even militancy-plagued tribal areas in the country's northwest. The Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was adopted last March in light of Pakistan's constitutional guarantee that the state is to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 5 and 16. The only provision of the new legislation that has been implemented is the distribution of free textbooks. Shakeel Memon, a spokesman for the Sindh Education Ministry, told UPI Next 5 million students across the province from the first through 10th grades have received free textbooks. Education in Sindh, however, continues to lag. A 2012 survey in Sindh found 32 percent of the province's children age 6 to 16 were out of school, a higher rate than in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where 25 percent of the children were out of school, even though the tribal areas are rife with militancy and Pakistan military operations. The report said Sindh students' performance was worse than that of FATA students in native language performance, English and arithmetic. For example, 42 percent of FATA children performed well in arithmetic, while in Sindh only 27 percent of children performed well.
Teachers’ low pay scales, society’s indifference global issues
Low salaries and negligence of society towards teachers is a universal issue and change of mindset is must for change of our opinions of teachers. This wasrevealed in a report “Status of Teachers in Pakistan-2013” launched by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, in collaboration with Institute for Professional Learning (IPL) and UNESCO Pakistan. The report launch was followed by “Award Distribution of World Teachers Day Anita Ghulam Ali Award” at Academy of Education Planning and Management. The report provides information about the current status of teachers in Pakistan, their presence and spread, working conditions and the potential for them to influence policies and programs, capturing the distinctive variations across each province and locations within provinces, to highlight issues around provision, diversity, gender and complexity. The report highlights that teachers continue to occupy a critical space in the pursuit of the educational quality agenda. The report reveals that according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13 (Ministry of Finance) there are 231,239 institutions profiled at all levels of the educationsystem, serving 40,065,100 students and serviced by a teaching force of 1,445,400 teachers. Thereport also advocates for the rights of those teachers who are servicing the institutions managed and funded by the armed forces, police, railways, departments of labor and Bait ul Maal etc.
Complete Story: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=234655
The appointment of teachers in the public sector in Pakistan is a controversial subject. Statistics reflecting the dismal state of government-employed teachers were discussed in the report launch ceremony of ‘Status of Teachers in Pakistan-2013’ at the Academy of Education Planning and Management on Monday. According to the report, around 85,622 posts for teachers are vacant in Pakistan’s public schools against the 570,000 sanctioned posts. Statistically speaking, the highest shortage was recorded in Punjab, with 61,916 vacant posts, followed by 13,515 in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, 8,334 in Balochistan, 1,355 in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas and 502 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Besides, there is a need to improve standards of education at school level and to implement transparent mechanisms ensuring that the recruitment of teachers is done on merit, rather than political basis. Factors cited in the report which dissuade potential entrants in the profession are low salaries, lack of incentives, inappropriate work environment and social taboos.
Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said that the Balochistan Education Sector Plan has been prepared at a cost of Rs61.35 billion as an instrument to manage prioritisation, planning, execution, monitoring and review of education policies in the province. Addressing the last session of a two-day international forum titled “Turkey educational challenges: international experience in education policy & search for solutions” in Istanbul the other day, he said the Pak-Turkish International Educational Foundation was delivering quality education to students in Pakistan. According to a press release issued here on Monday, the chief minister said that almost 1.3 million children were out of school in Balochistan. A high dropout rate, wide gender disparities in education indicators, poor quality of teaching and low access of children to school had emerged as the biggest challenge in the province, he pointed out. He said Balochistan faced the most unique situation in Pakistan as a large number of settlements (approximately 10,000 out of a total of 22,000) were without schools, where 81pc of the population was catered by the public sector, 9pc by the private sector and the rest by madressahs.
In the wake of the current wave of terrorism in the country, educational institutions in the federal capital have been put on high security alert. The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on Monday said it would be sending security-related instructions to the institutions by Tuesday. Steps to enhance security have been taken for the safety of students and teachers both in the public and private sector institutions, it has been learnt. It may be mentioned that on October 20, 2009, two suicide attackers targeted the girls’ campus of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), leaving six people, including three students, dead. The principal of a model college for girls on the condition of anonymity told Dawn that because of the worsening security situation all over the country she had increased the security of the institution. “Every day one teacher is assigned the task to come early and have a round of the school and tell me if there is anything suspicious,” she said.
1:350 is the teachers to student ratio at Government Girls Middle School in Lajbok, Timergara.
Public bemoans EDO education decision
Gujranwala EDO Education EDO Ayaz Tariq has given additional charge of DO Education Kamoke to Ahmad Nagar DO Education Aarifa Jamil and released DO Education Ansa Jamil ‘apparently’ without any reason. People of the area have questioned the EDO decision, saying that it will cause great inconvenience to the locals. It to be noted that Aarifa Jamil have already two additional charges of two different areas and this decision will further her burden. The public has demanded the Gujranwala DCO to take notice of the decision and grill the EDO for ‘what they called” whimsical decision.
Establishment of Education Authorities postponed till Local Government Election
There will be 11 members of a District Education Authority and Chairman and Vice-Chairman will be the elected members of Local governments. Postponement is not the solution of the problem, government should through this decision away, Sajjad Akbar Kazmi, President Punjab Teachers Union.
Pakistani village gives girls pioneering sex education class
In neat rows, the Pakistani girls in white headscarves listened carefully as the teacher described the changes in their bodies. When the teacher asked what they should do if a stranger touched them, the class erupted. "Scream!" one called out. "Bite!" another suggested. "Scratch really hard with your nails!" a third said. Sex education is common in Western schools but these ground-breaking lessons are taking place in deeply conservative rural Pakistan, a Muslim nation of 180 million people. Publicly talking about sex in Pakistan is taboo and can even be a death sentence. Parents have slit their daughters' throats or doused them in acid for crimes as innocuous as dancing at a wedding or looking out the window. Almost nowhere in Pakistan offers any kind of organised sex education. In some places it has been banned. But teachers operating in the village of Johi in poverty-stricken Sindh province say most families there support their sex education project.
FPCCI demands enhanced spending on education to stimulate growth
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Sunday demanded improved spending on education to stimulate growth and spur social and economic development in the country. "Education budget should be doubled while special emphasis should be given to provide free education to street children," Vice President FPCCI Munawar Mughal said. He said that the number of children that have never seen a school has crossed 30 million emerging as a serious menace to the society. Speaking to the business community, Munawar Mughal said the government needs to act quickly to bring to settle issue of ghost schools which is a drain on the exchequer. Closing down unviable as well as non-functioning schools will improve the standard of education as the funds being spent of them could be used on operational schools, he said. Munawar Mughal said that education remains fundamental right of every child as per constitution but situation on ground is different. Tens of thousands of schools in different parts of the country remain shelter-less, without electricity, boundary walls, lavatory, and access to drinking water, he informed.
Complete Story: http://www.brecorder.com/business-a-economy/189/1156716/
Magic of words
The love for books is usually inculcated in us during childhood. Unfortunately, an increasing number of studies show that both in Pakistan and in other parts of the world, ‘reading’ is no more a necessary part of childhood. While technology can also easily introduce books and literature to our children, their childhood is becoming more coloured by recreational and entertainment use of e-technology. Indeed, the situation is so grave that experts globally have called for urgent action to save the art of reading. Against this backdrop, the recently-concluded 11th Children’s Literature Festival organised in Karachi by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi and supported by other individuals and groups is an extremely positive initiative. Similar festivals have been held before in our major cities, and appear to be improving each time. We can only hope that they will have the required impact. And that certainly seems to be happening with key organisations putting up stalls at the festival and organising events for the children. The fact that a significant number of children attended the event offers hope for the future. The sessions also aimed at making books and reading a ‘fun’ activity – staying clear of the traditionally stodgy style that is usually employed here to introduce books to children.
Complete Story: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-8-234732-Magic-of-words