KARACHI, Jan 10 (TNS): Over 23,000 out of a total of 42,383 public sector schools in Sindh have been functioning without electricity, while only 734 have libraries, disclosed a report issued by the Reform Support Unit (RSU) of the Sindh Education Department on Tuesday.
The annual school census report has identified buildings of only 13,891 government-run schools as fit for use. Structures of 6,567 schools have been declared dangerous, while buildings of 15,978 schools need repair and maintenance work, and 4,910 schools in the province are operating without a building or roof.
The total number of primary elementary and higher secondary schools in Sindh decreased from 47,557 in 2011 to 42,383 in 2017. The Sindh Education Department cites shutting down inoperative schools as the reason for the decline.
The number of government-run schools for girls in the province has also decreased from 7,801 in 2011 to 5,385 in 2017. RSU also observed a declining trend in the total number of female students enrolled in schools, which fell from 17, 58,853 students in 2011 to 16, 52,025 students in 2017.
Similarly, the total number of schools for boys decreased from 11,732 in 2011 to 6,070 in 2017 but the enrolment of male students, which was 24,63,307 students in 2011, increased to 25,77,103 students.
However, jointly, the number of male and female students enrolled in public-sector schools increased from 42, 22,160 students in 2011 to 42, 29,128 in 2017.
Surprisingly, according to the RSU report, the number of teachers hired for state-run schools also increased from 146,103 teachers in 2011 to 150,787 teachers in 2017.
Thousands of schools in Sindh in 2017, however, continued to operate without basic facilities. The RSU-report reveals that 16,359 schools in Sindh do not have a boundary wall, while 15,478 schools in the province are operating without washrooms. Students of 18,128 schools in the province remained deprived of clean drinking water 23,235 schools are operating without electricity. Of the total 42,383 government-run schools in Sindh, 31,982 do not have a playground.
There are 2,010 secondary and higher secondary schools out of which 942 do not have science laboratories, 1,089 schools do not have biology laboratories, 1,114 schools do not have chemistry laboratories, 1,719 schools do not have physics laboratories, and 1,374 schools do not have computer laboratories.
Experts in the education sector hold the appointment of inexperienced officers and political interference responsible for the downfall of the Sindh Education Department.
Recently, Jamal Mustafa Saeed and Aziz Aqeeli were appointed as the Secretary of Education in Sindh within a short span of time. Both, Saeed and Aqeeli, were unimpressive in their performance to improve the department’s functioning.
Later, former Secretary of Board and University Iqbal Durrani filled the role, who too, was unable to take any effective steps to improve the quality of education and facilities in the province.