Thursday, May 12, 2005

Shameful state of government schools in Sindh

KARACHI: 13,995 schools found shelterless
By Mukhtar Alam
KARACHI, May 11: As many as 13,995 government schools, including 583 in urban areas, have no buildings, while another 2,351 were functioning in precarious buildings in the province. An official survey revealed that about 31 per cent of the schools up to higher secondary level needed repairs. A total of 9,935 (22 per cent) were in a satisfactory condition, as per government criteria.According to school census report (2003-2004), prepared by the Education Management Information System of the Sindh Education department, of the 44,653 schools, 5,389 were found closed.As many as 182 schools had been closed for non-availability of teachers or students or other related facilities.It was stated that 293 schools had no employees, while 918 were closed during last few years on permanent basis.About shelter-less schools, it was learnt that classes at such schools were being conducted in the open.According to a report, which included details up to January 2004, only 9309 (20.84 %) schools had electricity, while 19393 (43.43 %) had toilets, 18,572 (41.59 %) had drinking water facilities. More than 26,000 schools were without boundary wall.As far as advanced facilities were concerned, only 1367 (3.06 %) had libraries, 1190 (2.66%) had laboratories and 14165 (31.72 %) had play-grounds.The school survey revealed that against an overall increase of 8.14 per cent in the enrolment of boys and girls, there was an increase of 10.85 per cent in girl’s enrolment, while the enrolment of boys was 6.47.In 2002-2003, the total enrolment in government schools was 3,283,986, including 1,249,348 those of girls, which increased up to 3,551,365, including 1,384,975 those of girls, in 2003-2004.The maximum enrolment of students was recorded in Karachi district, i.e. 651,980, which was 15.76 per cent more than that of 2002-2003.In case of enrolment, Karachi was followed by Hyderabad (326,237) and Larkana (303,463).There were a total of 140,453 male and female teachers during the year in question.The data showed a reduction of 1,612 male teachers, while the number of female teachers increased from 44,401 to 45,465. Karachi had a total of 31,637 teachers at schools, followed by Hyderabad (15,302) and Larkana (10,159).The primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools in the province numbered as 44,653, while the number of intermediate, degree, postgraduate and professional colleges stood at 222, including 185 degree colleges. The number of vocational, commercial and technical institutions was 156.There were 38,819 Sindhi medium, 4,254 Urdu medium, 102 English medium schools and 1,477 had mixed medium of instruction.As many as 1597 schools up to higher secondary level, including 484 exclusively for girls, functioned in the evening.A maximum of 3,766 schools existed in district Mirpurkhas, 3676 in Mithi, 3,631 in Karachi, 3,531 in Khairpur Mirs, 3505 in Hyderabad and 3021 in Badin.

(Source: DAWN May 12, 2005)


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