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State of education

The education system in our country, particularly in the province of Sindh, lies in dire straits marred by official apathy and negligence. A recent report has revealed that only 4.5 million children are enrolled in schools across Sindh while more than 10,000 schools are not non-functional in the province.

There is a long-running problem of ghost schools and teachers. The existing ones are being used for anything except for imparting education. A report by Sindh Education and Literacy Department released after two years showed that 133,000 teachers have been appointed for 49,103 schools, out of which only 36,659 schools are functional.

This shows the sorry state of affairs as it affects a child’s education and future. Many school buildings are incomplete or deprived of basic facilities, left roofless and without gates, door and boundary walls for years. They are even schools without any teachers or students. There are 26,260 schools without facility for drinking water, 19,469 without washrooms and 31,000 schools do not even have electricity. A large chunk of schools do not have a playground, laboratory or library which is essential for students’ grooming.

The report revealed that a school in Thatta district employed only two teachers for 185 students and lacked a roof despite being founded decades ago. The Sindh government approved to set up a degree college in Thatta but there is no lecturer to teach students. This is the state of affairs in the education sector which lies in complete neglect. Only 15,000 schools in the province are considered to be in satisfactory conditions.

Federal Minister for Education has blamed the weak education system in the country for the spread of terrorism. He said that seminaries educate children and do not seek even a penny from the government or parents and they need to end the void between the state and the seminaries. The minister may be right as many opt to drop out of school due to a sordid state of affairs.

The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the situation as schools have been shut for several months. It has been reported that over 600,000 have dropped out of school due to the weak implementation of safety precautions. It is unfortunate that education has been the biggest victim of neglect and can strongly hamper the nation’s growth.