ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC), on Wednesday, sought replies from the provincial governments of all provinces on a petition filed against their refusal to run community schools.
A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a petition filed against closing down the project, Establishment and Operation of Basic Education of Community Schools, due to refusal by provinces to own this project, which was previously run by the federal government before the passage of the 18th Amendment.
During the hearing, the CJ observed that refusal by provinces to run community schools was violation of the constitution. He said that provinces should own any initiative aimed at the welfare of citizens.
It is relevant to mention here that the federal government had launched the project all over the country under the banner of Establishment and Operation of Basic Education of Community Schools in 1998.
Now the project is being run all over Pakistan with 15,101 basic education community schools and 56,100 students. There are number of employees with 10-15 years of service in this project.
The basic aim of this project is to develop community schools in disadvantaged communities, especially remote rural areas with one teacher for around 30 to 40 students. This was based on the concept of home schools with one teacher one school and multi grade teaching methodology.
This project is being implemented in conformity with international commitments like MDGs and EFA goals to which Pakistan is a signatory. There are 550 supervisory staff, 1,500 teachers and around 500 filed supervisors serving the project.
The petitioners contended that in case of refusal by provinces to run the projects, the federal government could not close down the project because it would be clear violation of certain articles of the constitution. The court adjourned the hearing till July 29.Daily Times.