Shortage of water


Karachi is a megacity of more than 20 million people and is the economic heart of Pakistan, often rightly called mini-Pakistan. After an excessive amount of load shedding Karachi seems to have a shortage of water in the city so much so that some localities are permanently dependent on the tanker mafia to cater to their needs.

Besides the acute water shortage affecting the city, public transport is virtually non-existent. In fact, the city had a better public transport system 35 years ago. That is not all: chaotic traffic, dilapidated roads and a pathetic sanitation system have also taken their toll. Despite generating 60% of the federal revenue, hardly 10% of this amount is spent on Karachi’s upkeep. The city needs the mutual efforts of the federal and provincial governments to restore its former glory and help it become the engine of Pakistan’s progress and prosperity.




School teachers


Teachers play a pivotal role in every society for its development and progression. They enlighten the youth in various fields: science, art, architecture and in technological fields. They indubitably deserve high esteem owing to their meritorious services and prophetic profession. However, a large number of school teachers in Sindh are absentees and they do not perform their duties regularly. Despite applying a biometric alternative, the government of Sindh has remained unsuccessful and could not meet its target. Reforms by the education department in provinces went in vain and brought no fruitful result. Teachers’ absenteeism is a persistent challenge for the literacy rate in Sindh. Absentees promote the illiteracy rate in the province.

Likewise, unskilled and unprofessional school teachers, appointed through favouritism and nepotism, are another challenge for the Sindh Government.

A large proportion of school teachers are unaware of pedagogical methods and do not have subject-specific skills. Teachers, without subject speciality, would undoubtedly bring no progress in the literacy rate. Therefore they should be discharged from service and new ones should be recruited. Those having a good reputation must be equipped with more subject specialities and pedagogical standards so that the educational standard could be bettered.

The solution of absenteeism is not in rebuilding school infrastructure but to take strict actions against those free-salaries takers who do not perform their responsibility honestly. For reformation, the Sindh Government must recruit skilled and well-versed teachers in the education department and discharge absentees from service. Biometric verification should also be implemented more. Teachers appointed on political grounds should be kicked out of services. Finally, subject specialists and well-learned teachers should be given awards annually based on performance.



Time to change election laws


I am confused and perplexed by our election laws where someone holding a single seat or a few thousand followers (voters) can register a party with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Such parties seem to have no ideology or purpose except for personal gain.

Those that can’t win any seat but have enough votes to spoil it for others enter the election campaign with full fanfare only to gain benefits from those whose vote they might split. They usually withdraw from contesting elections at the eleventh hour by getting what they want, which is personal gains in terms of favour or money. Those with the capacity to win limited seats do so with full force. This usually leads to a hung parliament with no single party winning a majority.

This is the best time for small parties with a handful of seats in the NA to blackmail the party trying to form a government for maximum gains in terms of ministries and discretionary funds. They keep the government hostage all the time, which does not allow the minority government to virtually do anything in terms of fulfilling their promises. I think it is about time that we amend our laws to stop such self-serving parties from contesting the elections just to either split votes or keep the government hostage against their few seats.

Many countries such as Canada have a minimum number of seats or a national vote bank. I think it is about time that we amend our laws to stop the blackmail of larger political parties at the hands of single-member parties.




Physical education versus online education


Schools, colleges and universities are suspended due to the smear of COVID cases. To make sure every student is studying, online classes have been started. Physical education in classrooms is more effective than learning online. In classrooms students vigilantly follow the teacher’s guidelines.

Experiments are done in classrooms and students also participate in in-class debates and other co-curricular activities, learning from them. On the other hand, in online classes students only learn to pass exams without wasting time, no experimental and extracurricular activities are done. Students mostly tune into the online lectures, but never pay attention and use social media, such as WhatsApp, Facebook. Students also face internet problems in remote areas. Online classes are only one-sided: teachers put in a lot of effort by delivering lectures and providing slides, but there is no response from the student’s side.

Undergraduate and postgraduate studies, especially the fields of medicine and engineering, and this cannot be done online. Universities should reopen to continue effective education amid following Standard operating procedures (SOPs).