A meeting was held with the Reform Support Unit (RSU) of Sindh Government, at their office as a first step towards fulfilling the commitment between PTI NA250 and Sindh Education Department, as was decided in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between Dr Arif Alvi (NA250) and Dr Fazal Pechuho, Secretary Ministry of Education, Sindh.
PTI team comprised of Dr Arif Alvi, Mr Samar Khan and Mr Amin while RSU team had all concerned departmental heads and was led by Mr Faisal Uqaili. Alif Ailaan was represented by Ms Maliha Umer.
The specific methods of measuring learning outcomes and the impact of teacher training on the quality of education imparted in schools were discussed. PTI offered to assist RSU in teacher training particularly in Science and Maths for government school teachers in NA-250 who have not attended any training as yet, as per RSU records. Also discussed was the possibility of introducing school-based monitoring for teacher attendance.
Dr Alvi believed the best point of interaction with the schools is at the level of School Management Committees and if possible for PTI to help private funding into each school for improvement through them or under their supervision. It was decided that Alif Ailaan will soon share a short video with PTI education team on the structure and working of these SMCs.
Special note note was made of the PTI request to be part of the next SMC meetings in NA250. RSU will provide the contact details for the SMCs and issue a letter to advise them to have MNA/MPA facilitate their efforts and proceedings.
PTI offered to raise private funding for SMCs. RSU will get back on how it can be done, though they are more of the opinion of having PTI support in the utilisation of the existing budget. SMC fund utilisation may be prone to corruption and ways and means to prevent the same like in the Tameer-e-School in KP where geo-coordinated photos help record every structural change as planned and relating it to expenditure given on the ground.
An interesting anomaly was seen in NA-250 that more girls were registered in NA-250 schools as compared to boys and the possible reasons behind it. This led to a discussion of the current capacity of NA-250 schools to cater to about 10,000 out-of-school-children because of the favorable teacher-student ratio. RSU will further look into the possible support they need from PTI education team in this regard.
RSU can benefit greatly by looking further into our recommendations. RSU will share a brief on their School Consolidation Plan based upon PTI team's questions on the need for school mergers and queries regarding campus schools.
RSU and Alif Ailaan thanked PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi, MPA Mr Samar Khan and NA-250 Education team leader Mr Amin for the interest with which they discussed each detail and their repeated offer to help and be part of this education reform program. RSU is very positive and will certainly reciprocate by providing all details, information and contacts PTI needs to move forward.
Dr Arif Alvi