By Aftab Channa –
More than 6,107 out of total 46,480 schools are closed in Sindh
In what seem the ‘reflection of good governance’ and the priority given to the education sector by the Pakistan People’s Party Sindh government in the province since past seven years, as many as 6,107 out of total 46,480 schools are closed in Sindh.
Interestingly, Pakistan is the signatory of the Millennium Development Goals and committed to achieve the 100 percent literacy rate by 2015.
However, the country has lost the opportunity of honouring its commitment made at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. And, the Sindh province stands far behind as compared to other provinces.
The country has a national literacy rate of 70 percent for males and 47 percent for females, as per the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey 2011-2012.
In Sindh’s urban areas, the male literacy rate is 85 percent and female literacy rate is 70 percent, however in rural Sindh the figures are 58 percent for males and 23 percent for females, whose opportunity to pursue an education is often hindered by the religious and cultural tradition known as purdah, which limits their ability to move outside their homes unless accompanied by a male relative.
According to official statistics exclusively available with Pique, as many as 6,107 schools have been closed since long with a total number of schools at 46,480.
|District||Total Number of Schools||Schools Closed|
|Tando Muhammad Khan||999||188|
According to official statistics, there is a total enrolment of 4,249,033 children that included 1,759,177 girls and 2,489,856 boys.
The breakup shows that 1,754,030 boys against 1,209,592 girls are enrolled in primary schools of the province. As many as 76,784 boys and 82,409 girls are enrolled in middle schools, 52,449 boys and 52,268 girls are enrolled in elementary schools, 411,883 boys and 300,057 girls are enrolled in secondary schools and 194,710 boys and 114,851 girls are enrolled in higher secondary schools. Senior program manager for the digital literacy project Ghulam Nabi Leghari told Pique.
Moreover, the Senior Minister for Education and Literacy, Government of Sindh Nisar Ahmed Khuhro had time and again stated that FIRs would be registered against the influential people who are having illegal possession of school buildings. However, at all, the minister himself is a landlord who never bothered to keep his words and improve the education system in the Sindh province.
Ashraf Khaskheli from Government Secondary Teachers Association told Pique that the Sindh education had been destroyed by the present secretary education and his team. “The secretary has suspended 8000 teachers without any reason since long however these teachers are made to visit the Sindh Secretariat on regular basis,” he added.
“The minister Nisar Khuhro is powerless minister who obeys the orders of Secretary Education Dr Fazalullah Pechuho. Secretary Education is only keeping eye on the billions of rupees funds from the international donor agencies”, he alleged.
“The number of closed schools in the Sindh province stood at 3,000 however after the present secretary took over the charge the number jumped to 6,107. The authorities should take notice of the situation, massive corruption in the education department and save the education”, the leader added.
When Pique approached Secretary Education Dr Fazaullah Pechuho for his comments he refused to give his version saying that the teachers were reluctant to go to these schools.
The writer is a senior journalist based in Karachi