There is a quote of Nelson Mandela that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Unfortunately, education has a pathetic condition in Sindh. Recently, Alif Ailan has released its report for 2017 regarding educational condition and improvements. Azam Jammu and Kashmir ranks first followed by Islamabad, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan, Sindh, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) respectively.

According to the report Punjab and KP have brought improvement in the educational sector. Meanwhile, Sindh, Balochistan, and FATA’s performance have remained very poor in the educational field. KP government has really brought a remarkable change in the education sector. After releasing the report, Imran Khan tweeted “Alif Ailaan has put out these amazing figures on District Education Rankings for 2017. Nine of the top ten districts are from KP; only one from Punjab. In the same survey for 2016, nine of top ten were from Punjab and none from the KP. A great achievement by PTI government in KP in the critical field of education.” No doubt, this is a great triumph for PTI government.

Sindh has miserably failed by bringing any change in the education sector. As per Alif Ailan’s 2017 report, Sindh’s school infrastructure score is 54%. Only 48% of the primary schools have electricity facility, 58% schools have drinking water, 64% have toilets, 65%, have the boundary wall, and importantly only 35% school’s buildings have been found in satisfactory condition. Let’s compare Sindh with KP and Punjab. KP school infrastructure scores 90%. Eighty-seven percent primary schools have electricity, water is ensured in 89% schools, 95% schools have toilet facility, 95% schools have boundary walls, 87% of the school buildings are in satisfactory condition. In Punjab, infrastructure score is 89%. Eighty-nine percent of the primary schools have electricity, 98% have drinking water availability, 97% have toilet facility, 93% school buildings have boundary walls, and 68% schools buildings are in good condition.

In Sindh, 47% schools are supervised by single teachers. Twenty-seven percent schools are running in the single classroom. Out of 12 million, more than 6 million children are out of the schools. About fifty percent of the children leave schools before completing primary education.

From statistics mentioned above, one can understand that Sindh’s education is not on the right track. Still, policies have not been implemented to move the direction of Sindh education towards betterment.

With the collaboration of World Bank, Sindh education department has introduced the biometric system in Sindh to take biometric attendance of the staff in schools. Biometric devices have been installed in colleges, while for schools Monitoring Assistants have been hired. No doubt, biometric system has brought little progress in the educational sector as it has ensured the attendance of staff to some extent. But it has created problems for punctual and regular teachers as well. For example, Casual Leave and transfers have been made very complicated after the launching of the biometric system. A considerable number of teachers have taken volunteer retirement due to the unfriendly education policies. Teacher’s retirement has created a vacuum, and many running schools have been shut down. The only biometric system is not enough to bring improvements.

Furthermore, the provision of funds to the education sector by the government is minimal. The government of Sindh should give a larger percentage of GDP to the education sector to develop the structure of the educational system. At least basic facilities should be given to the government schools of Sindh. There must be suitable training programs for the teachers of the government schools so that they can impart quality education to the students. In the rural areas, scholarships and stipends are essential for students to encourage them and increase enrollment as well.

RIAZ AHMED RUSTAMANI,

Johi, December 28.