Mr. Sadiq Memon, Provincial Minister Prisons Sindh, Madam Sadiqa Sallahuddin, Director of Indus Resource Center Karachi and renowned educationist and development expert, Mr Shahzeb Kakar, Deputy Secretary (Schools) Education & Literacy Department Government of Sindh, Mr. Qurban Ali Memon, Chairman District Education Monitoring Committee Matiari district and Naveed Shaikh, Deputy Program Manager, Reform Support Unit Department education and Literacy, Mr.Ellahi Bakhsh, Regional Program Manager, SPO Karachi, Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Baloch, Regional Head SPO Hyderabad, Ms.Raheema Panhwar, Program Specialist SPO Karachi spoke on the occasion. Representatives of SPO’s network organizations working in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Matiari, TM Khan, Thatta, Badin and Karachi districts also participated in a large number.
The programme started with recitation from Holy Quran. Then the participants introduced themselves.
Ellahi Bakhsh Baloch
Regional Program Manager SPO Karachi
Introduced the core programme of SPO and its intervention in Sindh province. He shared the objectives of the event and said SPO focuses on the Local Government Ordinance 2001 in which it was decided to ensure the community participation in all the activities and interventions so that target can be achieved. About the survey conducted from three districts, he said they tried to collect information at community level to learn their education and health status. SPO prefers to work with the local communities, legislators and other stakeholders from these three districts to participate in the program to understand the status of Primary Schooling facilities in their respective districts and take the issues to proper forums, but unfortunately they are that much active in this regard. We believe that without participation of these communities we could not achieve targets, he added.
Ghulam Mustafa Baloch
Regional Head, SPO Hyderabad
Presented findings of the survey conducted by SPO with the help of community organizations in three districts Badin, Tando Mohammed Khan and Matiari, focusing on government-run primary schools raised the issues of the facilities for local community living in these districts. He said the survey shows unsatisfactory performance of staff, unnecessary political interference, resources limitations and anarchy that has affected the role and performance of primary schools in the province of Sindh. The survey shows huge deficiency in required basic drinking water, toilets, teaching aids, furniture and fixture, etc, in these surveyed schools.
According to the survey all the 206 units (45 government primary schools in Badin, 81 in Matiari and 80 in Tando Mohd Khan District) are housed in building owned by the Sindh Government. Bathroom facility in the 140 (68 percent) is available while the remaining 66 units (32 percent) are without this facility. The 60 percent bath rooms were found in somehow working condition where as remaining 40% bathrooms were not in working condition.
The survey reveals that drinking water facility is available in 107 (52 percent) units while the remaining 99 units (48 percent) are without drinking water facility; the available water is not good for drinking even. The playgrounds facility in 101 units (49 percent) was found available but not in good condition while the remaining 106 units (51 percent) were without this important facility. It was observed that 66 percent units are having minimum required furniture and out of which only 60 percent are in satisfactory condition while in other 34 percent units no minimum required furniture is available for the students and teachers.
The availability teaching aids in 43 percent units was found satisfactory while in the remaining 57 percent units were without teaching aids. As regards the electricity is concerned it was observed that in 27 percent units there is no facility available and where the facility is available do not have sufficient fixtures to meet the requirements of the school.
The availability of Aya/Masi and Chowkidar was also found in a very pathetic condition. This required staff is presently available in only 62 percent units while the remaining 144 percent units lack this facility. The teaching staff is not attending in the most schools but those who are attending schools their punctuality and 100 percent attendance is still questionable. While talking with district level education department officials they mentioned that absenteeism of teachers, low performance of available staff, political interference, limited resources and limited role of district in decision making are the major problem they are facing.
Ghulam Mustafa thanked DevCon, HANDs, SHEDO and community organizations for their help in different districts. He linked the poverty the main cause of deteriorating education in areas, which are socially marginalized specially girls, having no access to the basic schooling facilities. In the research findings it was pointed out that staff is appointed but their attendance is questionable. Ghulam Mustafa said during the focus group discussions the district officers pointed out that staff remains absent. Their performance is unsatisfactory.
Mr. Sadiq Memon
Provincial Minister Prisons
Appreciated the way SPO is working but most of the NGOs are just inviting minister and taking their pictures in the event and getting more funds and they are not answerable to anyone. He said the present schooling arrangement cannot deliver because there is one room multi grade teaching approach which is not good, in west they are not in harry to open new schools as we are doing here without planning and rational.
Chief of Indus Resource Center and renowned educationist and development expert
She appreciated SPO team for its survey of three districts and presenting findings with recommendations. She said 80 percent school facilities are available in papers and in shap of buildings but there are gaps in service delivery. Community perception exists in the findings, which shows that there is lack of coordination between the government and community people.
The government and those organizations working on promoting education do not have ownership on these ignored government primary schools. She asked “why we are not finding its solutions. Education is human right which the community people do not get. “It is our responsibility to provide these education facilities to each area. If the government does not have these plans private partnerships should extend initiatives,” she said, adding that inspection system is old that should be improved as per the needs of the present day. Sadiqa Sallahuddin emphasized the need to strengthen monitoring, supervision, evaluation system to achieve the target. The issues should be focused in these areas. In future SPO should follow the education indicators while compiling findings in surveys in other districts.
Deputy Secretary Education& Literacy Department, Govt. of Sindh
He said these committees, which have collected these findings should be expanded to other districts to point out the issues so we may address the same through proper channels. He said these community organization members should extend coordination with the government education department officials.
Qurban Ali Memon,
EDO, CDD and Chairman District Monitoring Committee
He appreciated the role of SPO for collecting findings which will be shared with the government functionaries at provincial level to improve the system. He said in fact there is misunderstanding within the government functionaries regarding NGOs, in Matiari we arranged meeting of SPO activists with DCO to discuss the issues and find proper solutions. We thought that we can work together to achieve target and help the communities.
• Regular dialogue urged to review the issues and take proper actions to resolve the same timely
• People should be able to assert about the solution of their Regular dialogue urged to review the issues and take proper actions to resolve the same timely
• People should be able to assert about the solution of their rights. It will be happened when the people will be aware to raise their issues.
• Sindh government should take these issues into consideration,
• Surveys should be conducted periodically to assess the needs of the community, identify the problems
• Coordination between all the stakeholders including district governments, community and civil society actors should be strengthened
• To strengthen monitoring, supervision, evaluation system to achieve the target
• Civil society actors should visit these primary schools and extend help for improving management
• To institutionalize the district education system