Sindhi Language Teachers appointed at Private Schools don’t have teaching skills, minister says addressing the International Sindhi Language Conference
Sindh Minister for Education, Culture & Tourism Sardar Ali Shah said on Monday that he doesn’t expect positive response from the federal government with regard to a Bill for declaring the indigenous languages as National Languages.
He also said that the number of registered private schools across the province is 15000 but the teachers appointed in such schools are unable to teach Sindhi language.
“They (teachers) need extensive training of teaching methods,” Sindh Minister for Education, Culture & Tourism Sardar Ali Shah said on Monday addressing the inaugural session of International Sindhi Language Conference organized by Sindhi Language Authority (SLA) at Pakistan Arts Council Karachi.
“During the visit to private schools I found that the private schools have appointed Sindhi teachers but unfortunately they don’t know methods for teaching the Sindhi language to the students,” he said and added that in view of such a situation they need to be imparted training of teaching methods.
Sardar Shah recalled that in 2018, when he was assigned the education portfolio, he strictly directed the private schools to teach Sindhi language to the students as per law on 1972. “But we had to face tough resistance by the private schools,” he told and remarked that they (private schools’ administration) have become a Mafia.
“Soon the education portfolio was given to another minister but I pursued implementation of my earlier instructions when again this portfolio was handed to me,” Sardar Shah. “As a result of efforts, the private schools have appointed the Sindhi Language Teachers but unfortunately they don’t have teaching skills, a direly need the training.”
Minister viewed that Sindhi language cannot be promoted unless the teachers have proper skills. “For developing teaching skills among the teachers, SLA should constitute a committee and suggest the ways, as imparting training to 15000 teachers is a big task,” he said.
As regards the deciphering of Indus script, Minister suggested the SLA to organize a conference of high caliber scholars who should sit together and discuss the matter and share their experience and opinion. “Moreover, the SLA should come into contact with world organizations working on decipherment of Indus script and get the updates.”
He further suggested the SLA corresponding with federal government’s heritage ministry for seeking help and taking measures regarding the research on deciphering the Indus script and preservation of indigenous languages. Sardar Shah however said he doesn’t expect any positive response from the federal government.
“A Bill for declaring indigenous languages as national languages is lying there. It continues to shuttle between National Assembly and Senate,” he said and added that Pakistan People’s Party supports the National Languages Bill.
Referring to the scanty audience, Minister for Education, Culture & Tourism Sardar Ali Shah, who was the chief guest of the inaugural session of conference and himself had come about two hours late, lamented the lack of interest of the people and remarked that ‘hardly 150 persons are present in the auditorium having capacity of 350’.
It may be mentioned that the inaugural session was scheduled to start at 11am but it could start only at 1pm when the minister reached at 12.53pm. Many people had returned after a long wait. Minister left the conference after making speech when the two keynote speakers – Prof. Tariq Rehman and Madam Fahmida Memon had to cut short their speeches, as asked by the organizers.
The awkward situation developed when the French scholar Michel Boivin was invited to address the half-empty hall, and with presence of two persons at the stage – Madam Fahmida Hussain and SLA Chairman Dr. Ishaque Samejo.
Earlier, Prof. Tariq Rehman gave a presentation based on old data, and said apologizing that he had told the conference organizers that he has not done new work in this regard. Dr. Fahmida Hussain in her address made certain suggestions regarding deciphering of Indus script. Some new books published by SLA were also launched besides inauguration of Digital Library which contains only 167 books, as was told to the audience.