LEAs, landlords occupy 1,024 edu institutions

KARACHI - Sindh government has urged the Prime Minister to get vacated over 24 buildings of educational institutions, occupied by the law enforcement agencies in the province. Speaking in the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said that police, Rangers and other LEAs were using the buildings of several educational institutions in the province. He informed the House that he had approached Interior Minister Rehman Malik and requested him to get the educational institutions vacated occupied by Rangers. Though, the Interior Minister did not provide timetable to shift Rangers from government educational buildings, but he offered that if Sindh government is satisfy with the prevailing law and order in the province, federal government is ready to call back Rangers from the province, he added. Pir Mazhar further said that the matter was also taken up with Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani during special cabinet meeting recently held in Karachi where DG Rangers briefed the Premier about financial problems, which are the main hurdle in shifting federal force from educational institutions. The Rangers barracks are under construction in Karachi and need more funds for their early completion, the provincial minister said, adding that he also advocated release of funds for Rangers which would help to get back educational institutions on early basis. To a query from PPP member Mrs. Humera Alwani, Pir Mazhar said that government was making all possible efforts to retrieve the possession of schools/colleges/hostels buildings from the law enforcement agencies. Giving the district-wise details of the educational institutions, currently occupied by the law enforcement agencies, the Minister said that Army was occupying the building of Government Girls Middle School Chhor. Similarly, combined buildings for hostel of Government Noor Muhammad High School and Muslim College Hyderabad, hostel of Government Secondary School Comprehensive Latifabad No. 10 and a part of the building of Government Seth Hafiz School Hyderabad are under the occupation of the Rangers. Two secondary boys schools are occupied by Rangers and police in Karachi, Minister said and added that buildings of educational institutions, one each in Matiari, Ghotki, Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah) were possessed by police and Rangers. Pir Mazhar pointed out that at least six buildings of colleges/hostels are under possession of Ranges in Karachi. In Karachi, Government Degree Boys College, Jungle Shah Kemari, Hostels of D.J Sindh Government Science College, Jamia Mallia Government Malir, Hostel and Principal bungalow of Government College of Physical Education, Government College for Women 11-F in New Karachi and Government Degree and Science Commerce College Lyari are also occupied by law enforcement agencies. Replying to another question, Pir Mazhar said that at least 5,256 schools for boys and girls were being working without SNEs (Scheduled New Expenditures) in the province. The total number of schools operating without SNEs is very high. He added these schools need teaching, non-teaching staff and furniture. The government has approved the SNEs in the budget to release funds. Chairman Public Accounts Committee, Sardar Jam Tamachi Unar, pointed out that main objective behind construction of schools was to convert them into 'Otaqs by Waderas. He proposed that government should convert some schools into girls schools as a huge number of such institutions are non-functional and being used as 'Otaqs in the province. Education Minister agreed with the PAC chairman and said that at least 700 to 1,000 non-functional schools in Sindh are being used as 'Otaqs. He also demanded stern action against the people, who had suggested the construction of these schools in the first place. To a question, Provincial Minister said that at least 1,234 schools were running under NGOs in the province through foreign funding. Replying to another query, Pir Mazhar said that at least 21,226 vacancies from grade 1 to 20 were lying vacant in the provincial education department.

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