Apropos of a report published in print media on Nov 18th 2018 that Sindh High Court [SHC] Chief Justice [CJ] Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh has summoned the Education Secretary directing him to file comments over lack of basic facilities in schools in interior Sindh
Taking notice of electronic media reports about lack of basic facilities at government schools in Taluka Jati, Sujawal and Faridabad, Dadu
The proliferation of small basic education facility throughout Sindh nearly impossible to manage, there are 49,000 schools in the Government of Sindh [GOS]’s [the current inventory], many of which are non-functional, poorly located, undersized (one or two-rooms), understaffed and poorly constructed – teacher absenteeism is chronic and common.
In addition, having several schools situated on the same premises, each with separate administrative personnel – this has created inefficiencies that the Government of Sindh can ill afford.
Finally, there has been an under-investment in school facilities serving students of class 5, which has left few options for children to continue their education beyond the primary level, particularly for girls.
According to report released on 24th Oct 2017 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, highlighted the government’s apparent failure to provide high-quality education in Pakistan.
Lack of sanitation, level of teachers’ salaries, low levels of spending on education and lack of regulations of health and safety at schools are being counted among the reasons for this.
In Sindh, one of the major issues being faced is lack of sanitation and water facilities.
One-third of schools in the country have no water or basic sanitation or toilets. Only half of all government schools have usable toilets.
“In Sindh, 100,000 students leave school in the first month every year due to the absence of basic facilities (such as water and sanitation),” admitted the provincial education department’s secretary, Dr Iqbal Hussain Durrani, before the judicial commission.
According to a survey conducted by the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum in 2017, around 95% of public schools along the Sindh coastline do not have drinking water or washrooms for students.
“We conducted the survey in Kharo Chan and Keti Bunder tehsils of Thatta district, where 95% schools lack drinking water facilities,” the forum’s field coordinator Gulab Shah had said.
On October 18, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that 4,000 schools would be selected and provided all necessary facilities within the next six months. He had approved Rs6 billion for the project during a meeting with education department officials.
In a presentation to the CM, the education secretary had said there were around 4,000 schools in the province that did not have washrooms upon which Shah had commented that he had been listening to reports of missing facilities in schools for years.
He directed the school education department to select at least 4,000 schools and provide them all the facilities, including boundary walls, libraries, teachers’ rooms, laboratories, washrooms, drinking water and electricity. Shah directed the provision of solar energy to schools where power connections via electrical poles were not possible.
Has it been done still a big question mark? And where the approved amount R 6 billion is gone?