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KARACHI: The provincial public education sector on Wednesday came under a severe criticism, as opposition in the Sindh Assembly (SA) proposed admissions for the children of chief minister and cabinet members in the state-run schools.

Despite Rs1580 billion earmarked over last 13 years of fiscal budgets for the education sector, the opposition was perplexed about the continuing fall in standards and facilities across the public sector academies in Sindh.

Mufti Qasim Fakhri of the TLP censured the PPP rule, spanning over the 13 years and still continuing, which failed to mend the education system of Sindh.

Despite, Rs1580 billion allocated for the province public education sector, he said, yet the free-fall in quality of learning and facilities at schools continues.

Schools are in pitiful condition, said the legislator and added that the children of chief minister and cabinet members should be enrolled in the public sector academies.

“This may help herd of donkeys out of the schools’ buildings,” Mufti Fakhri said and pointed out that heaps of garbage are laying in front of school premises without the government’s notice and actions.

Showing worries, he said that the fiscal plan for the next year lacks uplift and supportive funds for mosques and madrasahs, although allocations have been set for churches and temples.

Firdous Shamim Naqvi of the PTI, who dressed in a traditional shervani and wore a (Turkish) Fez hat, told the legislature that the public sector education sector is deteriorating across the province of Sindh.

Sindh has a higher rate of infants’ mortality, he said and added that the province’s annual growth has reduced to four percent.

Corruption has brought about degeneration in every public sector entity, he said and added that the PPP rule has an unreasoned biased policies towards Karachi.

“The chief minister cites Rs109 billion of schemes for Karachi but the budget books show none of them,” Naqvi said.

Since 2007, he said, the PPP government has held back the provincial finance commission award. Sindh has no rescue service, he added.

The MQM legislators held a silent stationary protest with placards in hands, which read as “corrupt rulers leave Sindh alone,” and other such critical ones on the city’s civic issues.

MQM’s parliamentary leader, Kunwar Naveed Jamil said that the Karachi’s Liaquatabad pays more taxes to the national exchequer than that of the entire Lahore.

“But the budget 2021-22 allocates not a single penny scheme for Liaquatabad,” he said and added, “even so the existing schemes for Karachi have also been scraped.”

Even after a span of ten years, he said, the proposed medical colleges in Korangi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas have not been established.

“The Sindh government is not willing to allocate land for the proposed Hyderabad university,” the MQM leader said.

Kanwar Naveed Jamil said that the Sindh government collects Rs400 billion annually and a similar amount the bureaucracy plunders in bribe.

The PPP government has made it final decision not to let people of urban areas of the province get admissions in public sector academies despite paying huge taxes.

“Sindh government should stop collecting taxes from Karachi so that citizens could solve their problems with that money,” he said.

Every budget allocates funds for Karachi, but no development work is undertaken for the largest urban centre, he said and added, “Schemes for Karachi are just for a display so that chief minister can mention them in his budget speech.”

Immediately after Kanwar Naveed Jamil’s speech, the MQM legislators went out of the house in protest, chanting “give water to Karachi”.

However, Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah asked them to stay in the house and listened to the ministers’ replies.

He said that the MQM was part of Sindh coalition government until 2013. “I will give details in my reply speech, he added. However, MQM legislators did not stay there.

After a while, they retuned to the house and staged a sit-in before the Speaker’s desk.

PPP’s Saleem Baloch lauded the Sindh government for bringing in “the best” budget with over 250 schemes for Karachi.

PPP’s Burhan Chandio said that his village produces natural gas but still left out of the facility to utilise.

“We are the heirs of Karachi and did not migrate from anywhere,” he said. There was a person in London who would made decisions (about Karachi), he said and asked the whereabouts of former federal ports and shipping minister and a key MQM leader, Babar Ghouri.

He said once Bilawal Bhutto Zardari becomes prime minister of Pakistan, “We will not leave people jobless”. Later, the house was put off till 11am Thursday morning.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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