Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the solution of all our many problems lies in best education for which we have to teach our teachers first for teaching our children, otherwise all our efforts would go futile. The Chief Minister was addressing a ceremony organized here on Wednesday to announce Public-Private Partnership between Sindh Education Department and Durbeen, an NGO to run Government Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad. Durbeen also announced its partnership with University of Helsinki, Finland to bring global best practices in teacher education to Govt Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad. The programme was attended by Minister Education Syed Sardar Shah, Secretary Education Qazi Shahid Pervaiz, CEO Durbeen Salma A. Alam, Minna Saade, International Business Development manager of University of Helsinki, Finland, Shahzad Roy President Zindagi Trust and Tabba, the key donor of Durbeen and others. Murad Ali Shah said that the first and foremost problem for better education was teacher absence from the schools. The education department with hectic efforts designed a biometric system to ensure teachers attendance in the schools, he said and added “when biometric system started functioning most of the teachers instead of attending schools and taking classes chose to get early retirement. “The step to enhance our pension bill instead of improving teaching process in class room,” he said in lighter mood. He said that the government has more than 40,000 schools and if we succeed running only 10 schools successfully, we would be able to generate thousands of best students to shine their names, name of their parents and the institution’s and serve the nation. He said that the government adopted another plan under which Public Private Partnership was launched. The first and foremost problem for better education was teacher absence from the schools The Chief Minister said that the government schools which were being run by Zindagi Trust, Kiran Trust running a Lyari school and NJV school being operated by an NGO have proved to be best schools. This showed that the PPP mode was best mode to improve and revolutionize education with the management of private sector. Murad Shah said that the recruitment of policemen was being made purely on merit which was as much necessary as teachers recruitment. “The government decided to make recruitments in education department through third party but even then results were not so much encouraging,” he said and added therefore he decided to start best teachers’ training/education through private sector. He said that he was quite happy and satisfied to hand over the management of Government Elementary College of Education, Hussainabad to Durbeen- a partner of University of Helsinki, Finland. “In this way, we would be able to bring global best efforts in teachers education to Sindh and make it necessary for every teacher to undergo a four-year B-Ed training programme designed by Helsinki University to be offered by Durbeen at Elementary College of Education for in-service and fresh candidates. Shah said that Sindh education department has only nine percent science teachers and there is almost the same number maths teachers. Therefore, his government has decided that the recruitment would be on need basis. Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah addressing on the occasion said that there was problem of ownership. He added that the government teachers or headmasters did not give ownership to their schools. Giving an example of Zindagi Trust schools, he said that their [school] building were government constructed, their teaching and non-teaching staff were government- recruited then why their schools were neat and clean and providing best education, he asked and said “because Shahzad Roy has given them ownership, and we will have to give ownership to our educational institutions.” Syed Sardar Shah said that the government schools were not so much bad as were being portrayed. He gave example of CSS examinations and said that most of the successful candidates had come out of government schools. Earlier, Salma A. Alam of Durbeen and Minna Saade of Helsinki University briefed the audience about their plan to start training programmes. Published in Daily Times, March 7th 2019.