KARACHI - Though government authorities have been claiming to provide facilities to improve education, the data of facilities depicted a contradictory picture, The Nation has learnt.
The education department of Sindh government has prepared a report containing details of schools lacking facilities and has been submitted to Chief Minister. The report presents a dismal situation of the province. The data unveiled that over half of 49,000 public sector schools-from primary to higher secondary level schools, lacked basic facilities of drinking water, toilets, electricity, boundary walls, playground, library and laboratories in Sindh.
According to the report, presently at least 49,000 schools are running under public sector at the primary, middle, elementary and high schools levels in the province. Of the total, roughly 80% of them have buildings; around 60% of them have no drinking water facility; 40% have no electric connection facility; 50% have only one toilet and 35% schools have no boundary walls, especially in girls’ schools.
Report showed that at least 7494 schools, 38% including girls schools, have no boundary walls, showing state of vulnerability for the children studying there. A huge number of the 43000 primary schools in Sindh, are running without basic facilities of toilets, boundary walls and electricity.
Report showed that at least 10,904 schools lacked electricity, 8,199 schools have not toilets, 9,848 schools running without drinking water, 7,497 schools without boundary walls, 18, 928 schools lacked of science laboratories and 13, 962 schools among the list of 19506 schools identified as lacked of basic facilities in the Sindh province.
The Government of Sindh initiated Sindh Education Reform Program in 2006-2007 which included School Infrastructure Development portfolio under the name of Terms of Partnership (TOP) besides other portfolios. Under the portfolio, main focus was given for providing building to shelterless schools and giving the facility of toilets, electricity, water, boundary wall, etc to those schools which needed these badly.
Combining all the four phases of facilities-toilets, electricity, water and boundary walls, the government has claimed that it has been able to provide families to more than five thousand schools in the province during last four years. Around eight hundred shelterless schools have been provided buildings, around 4,000 schools have been provided with the facilities of additional class rooms (2,485), boundary wall (1,800), washroom (2,200), water and electricity etc. For further improving the infrastructure requirements of the public sector schools, Rs6 billion have been allocated in the budget of current fiscal year 2013-14 under Sindh Education Reform Program, officials said, adding that the World Bank is also supporting Govt of Sindh for this reform.
Meanwhile, the educationists have attributed the lack of facilities and deteriorating standard of education as main reasons for decline in enrollment in public sector schools.