Sunday Oct 30, 2022
Sindh minister for culture, tourism and antiquities, Syed Sardar Shah said that the massive flooding has destroyed the school infrastructure in the province—a loss that is so huge that the government is helpless to rebuild it alone.
"It is the responsibility of the world community to support us in reestablishing educational activities for the flood-hit children," he said, chairing a meeting with the UNICEF delegation on Saturday.
"We have quality teachers who are raring to impart education to children under all sorts of circumstances."
The Sindh minister appreciated UNICEF, saying the global agency for children's rights has helped set up over 2,000 temporary learning centres in the affected areas.
Shah said that students in the flood-affected areas in the province need 20,000 tent classrooms in order to continue their academic activities. The government doesn't deem it wise to use the flood-weakened structures for educational purposes for the safety of children, Sardar Shah said.
According to him, the provincial government needs to pay attention to other issues like children's psychological issues, child protection, and nutritional deficiencies.
The UNICEF delegates, including Global Director Education UNICEF headquarters Robert Jenkins, Regional Education Advisor UNICEF ROSA Peter De Vries, and Chief Education UNICEF Pakistan Ellen Van Kalmthout, attended the meeting at a local hotel in Karachi.
Chief Field Office Unicef Sindh Prem Bahadur Chand, Education Specialist Unicef Sindh Asif Abrar, Secretary School Education and Literacy Department of Sindh Ghulam Akbar Laghari, Junaid Hameed Samoo Chief Program Manager RSU, and all SELD wing heads were also in attendance.
At the meeting, the participants were briefed on the overall food emergency response and the data on damaged schools in Sindh. The meeting was also briefed about the initial details of the Sindh education department's survey of schools in the province post floods. UNICEF Pakistan offered technical support for the survey.
The UNICEF delegates said the children had to witness this situation for the first time and they are facing several social and psychological issues.
Robert Jenkins appreciated the department of school education's timely efforts. In addition, he applauded the flood loss survey. He said the first priority should be to restore education after the children return to their areas.