Rahim Yar Khan is the fifth most populated district of Punjab with about 4.8 million people. The agriculturally and economically rich district is poor in educational infrastructure. While all districts in Punjab are improving in educational infrastructure, our district is deteriorating.
The recent report of Alif Ailaan on District Education Ranking 2017 unveils that the status of Rahim Yar Khan has declined in education infrastructure in primary and middle schools as compared to previous year.
Statics shows that Rahim Yar Khan has dropped this year to the lowest rank in Punjab i.e. 36th as compared to 33rd position in 2016. Similarly, in Pakistan it dropped20 ranks to 59th position as compared to 39th in 2016.
The infrastructure score is based on five different indicators i.e. electricity, toilet, water, boundary wall and building condition which have been given equal weightage. Last year,the score of RYK in Primary Schools Infrastructure was 83.58 which has gone down to 81.27 this year.
The same is the case with middle schools’ infrastructure where Rahim Yar Khan scored 90.29 as compared to 94.35 in 2016. This decrease in infrastructure score has dropped RYK’srank from 26th to 43rdin Pakistan and from 28th to 30thin Punjab.
The report shows that the district improved its scores for electricity, water toilet and boundary wall while significant deterioration in building condition reported this year. Building condition score, that was 78.93 last year, remained 55.61 this year.
Alif Ailaan Report 2017 has introduced another category Beyond Primary Readiness Score (BPRS) which evaluates quantum of schooling options available above the primary school level. In this category, two indicators ‘Above Primary to Primary Ratio’ and ‘Middle School Infrastructure Score’ are used.
According to the report, Rahim Yar Khan scored 57.7, which means the existing post primary infrastructure of district can accommodate less than 60% students only. In BPRS, RYK is at 33rdposition in Punjab, which shows inefficiency of education authorities to improve the education infrastructure beyond primary.
Article 25 A promises free and compulsory education for every child of age 5 to 16 years, but educational infrastructure does not support this promise. Punjab government has to go a long way to fulfill its promise of free education as most of the public sector schools are just limited to primary level.
Without upgrading primary schools to middle, middle to high and higher secondary, a significant chunk of our kids will be left with no choice but to stay out of school,which is still a challenge for Pakistan being second largest country with most of children out of school.