Monday, June 6, 2016

Capacity building of Sindh health officials

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aga Khan University (AKU) in partnership with the Department of Health, Government of Sindh, and John Snow Inc is hosting a ceremony to recognize and review ongoing efforts into capacity building of government health managers in Sindh.

The Sindh Health Department’s district and provincial managers who have successfully completed standalone graduate courses in health sector reform and quality management, as part of an initiative to build capacity to improve the health delivery system in the province, will also receive transcripts and certificates at the ceremony. 

This is the first time government managers have been able to study while continuing to work in the Health Department. 

The programme, offered every weekend, is a blend of theory and practice, and targets working professionals who wish to enhance their academic knowledge and leadership skills. 

So far, Sindh is the only province that has invested in a formal MoU for capacity building of health managers and has a tripartite agreement between the Government of Sindh, John Snow Inc and AKU.

School students discuss issues with Ombudsman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Foundation for Research and Human development (FRHD), in collaboration with Action Aid, arranged a prospect for children’s councils comprising of young activist from government schools to meet and have one-on-one discussion with Provincial Ombudsman, Sindh, Asad Ashraf Malik. 

The meeting with Ombudsman was held at the Sindh Secretariat in Karachi with the primary objective of providing an opportunity to children for discussing education-related issues that negatively impede with their academics and integrate vulnerable children with education. 

The students discussed the issues bothering them face to face with the Mohtasib who promised to take immediate notice in order to rectify the problems. 

The three key problems that the students were able to highlight among others were the mismanagement and corruption of School Management Committee (SMC) fund in government schools, students being deprived of their right to free course books by the government and the high rate of student dropout at Class VIII because of their financial inability of affording the examination board fee for matriculation examination. 

The member students of Children’s Councils proposed recommendations those are directly link with the inclusion of vulnerable children in education system and quality education. It included ensuring implementation of Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2013, in its true letter and spirit, specifically Section 10, constituting committees, as provided under the Ombudsman’s Act, to monitor the working of government schools specially posting of teaching staff besides forming committees to ensure imparting formal and informal education to the Juvenile with the view to rehabilitate the Juveniles. 

They further sought providing access to and support quality professional learning for school staff, constituting committee for making recommendations to the Government of Sindh for legislation regarding the employment of Children Act in view of Act promulgated by the Federal Government in the year 1991 and increasing the SMC fund related to education and create a committee for monitoring the holistic dispersion and utilization of the fund. 

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Research and Human Development (FRHD), Nazra Jahan, acknowledged that education was the most essential ingredient for the development of a nation. 

“It is a universal fact that nations who have reached the heights of the development and prosperity have done it by using education and information as a tool to do it. The students, being the major stakeholder of education system, can serve as an asset to improvise the education tools. And implementation of Article 25-A is the guarantee to eradicate poverty from Pakistan,” the FRHD official reckoned. 

The Sindh Mohtasib arranged for a 20-minute presentation during which children were briefed about Children Complaint Office (CCO) and the precise way through which they can file complaints in line with the mandate of Ombudsmen.