Sindh’s educational regression is next only to FATA. And only sincere efforts can turn it around

There is a quote of Nelson Mandela that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Unfortunately, education is in pathetic condition in Sindh.

Alif Ailan a non-governmental organization has released its report for 2017 regarding educational condition and improvements. Azam Jammu and Kashmir ranks first followed by Islamabad, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan, Sindh, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), respectively.

According to the report, Punjab and KP have brought improvement in the educational sector, meanwhile, Sindh, Balochistan and FATA’s performance have remained very poor in the educational field. KP government has really brought a remarkable change in the education sector.

After the release of the report, Imran Khan tweeted “Alif Ailaan has put out these amazing figures on District Education Rankings for 2017. 9 of the 10 top districts are from KP; only 1 from Punjab. In the same survey for 2016, 9 of top 10 were from Punjab; none from KP. A great achievement by PTI government in KP in the critical field of education”.

No doubt this is a great triumph for PTI government.

Sindh has miserably failed to bring any change in the education sector. As per Alif Ailan’s 2017 report, Sindh’s school infrastructure score is 54%, only 48% primary schools have electricity facility, 58% schools have drinking water, 64% have toilets, 65%, have a boundary wall, and importantly only 35% school’s buildings have been found in satisfactory condition.

Let’s compare Sindh with KP and Punjab.

KP school infrastructure scores 90%, 87% primary schools have electricity, 89% water, 95% have toilets, 95% schools have boundary walls, 87% buildings are in satisfactory condition.

In Punjab, infrastructure score is 89%, 89% primary schools have electricity, 98% have water, 97% have toilet facility, 93% have the boundary wall, and 68% schools’ buildings are in good condition.

In Sindh, 47% schools are supervised by single teachers; 27% schools are running in a single classroom. Out of 12 million, more than 6 million children are out of the schools. About 50% children leave schools before completing primary education.

From the abovementioned statistics, one can understand that Sindh’s education is not on the right track. Still, policies have not been implemented to move the direction of Sindh education towards betterment.

With the collaboration of World Bank, Sindh education department has introduced the biometric system in Sindh to take biometric attendance of the staff in schools. Biometric devices have been installed in colleges, while for schools Monitoring Assistants have been hired. No doubt, biometric system has brought little progress in the educational sector as it has ensured the attendance of staff to some extent. But it has created problems for punctual and regular teachers as well.

For example, casual leave and transfers have been made very complicated after the launching of the biometric system. A huge number of teachers have taken volunteer retirement due to the unfriendly education policies. Teacher’s retirement has created a space and many running schools have been shut down. Only biometric system is not enough to bring improvements.

Furthermore, provision of funds to the education sector by the government is very less. The government of Sindh should give a larger percentage of total GDP to the education sector in order to develop the structure of the educational system. At least basic facilities should be given to the government schools of Sindh.

There must be suitable training programs for the teachers of government schools so that they can impart quality education to the students. In the rural areas, scholarships and stipends are essential for students in order to encourage them and to increase enrollment in the schools. Only serious and sincere efforts can bring education to Sindh on the right track.

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