Minister for Education, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, on Tuesday urged the people’s representatives and the civil society to take ownership of the educational institutions in their respective areas to transform these as vibrant hubs of learning.
The Minister made these remarks at a high level meeting which he chaired to review the functioning the school education sector. The meeting was also attended by various legislators who gave their suggestions to improve the overall functioning of the Education Department.
“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our government schools perform to deliver best academic results in our State. But this can be achieved only through our consistent efforts in this regard at grassroots level,” Bukhari said while stressing on legislators to make schools in their respective constituencies accountable.
Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Minister of State for Education Priya Sethi, Legislators Mian Altaf Ahmed, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, Anjum Fazili and Mohammad Khursheed Alam, besides Secretary Education Farooq Ahmed Shah and other concerned were present in the meeting.
The Minister said that his priority shall be to ensure proper infrastructure in schools by way of better sanitation, drinking water, electricity and accommodation. “I call upon all the officers of my department to ensure that at least half of the under construction school buildings including the unsafe and abandoned ones be completed during the current fiscal,” he asserted.
Bukhari also informed the meeting about various decisions including the creation of separate construction wing in the department that will take care of construction of school infrastructure in a time bound manner. “This will not only ensure timely completion of school building and quality control but will also relieve our teachers from unwanted responsibilities,” he remarked.
Similarly, he called upon all the legislators present in the meeting to evolve consensus on handing over the preparation of Mid Day meals to Non Governmental Organizations in their restive areas. “This way not only our teachers will get-rid of this additional burden but we can also ensure quality control of the food being provided to our children,” he added.
The Minster also pledged to visit different constituencies in the State to take firsthand account of educational facilities being provided through government run schools. “Soon after completing these district wise review meetings, I plan to visit all the constituencies to abreast myself with the difficulties faced by the people on account of poor educational infrastructure in the State,” he said.
Bukhari stressed the need for making education free from corruption and politics and vowed to make Education Department an example in the State. “We will work with dedication to make the department an example and the results will be seen on ground within three months,” Bukhari said while appealing the legislators to have sense of ownership towards Education Department and work with hand in hand for the betterment of the education system.
On the occasion, the Education Minister said that he will visit every constituency personally to know about the needs and issues in different schools. He said school children are our future and we have to promise them best education and for that we need to reach out to them.
During the meeting, the legislators put forward various issues concerning their constituencies regarding the function of the Department. On the suggestion of the legislators, Bukhari directed the officials to prioritize development works in schools that have stopped due to one or the other reason. He asked the concerned to gear up the speed of work and so that visible change is felt on ground.
The Minister directed the concerned to fill the vacant posts of Head Masters in different schools within 15 days.
Suggestion for dress code for teachers, emergency medical practitioners for schools also came up for discussion during the meeting. The establishment of schools for specially-abled children was also deliberated upon in the meeting.