Islamabad - Thousands of kids are feared to be out of school as government schools denied them admissions due to limited number of seats.

Long queues of parents can be seen outside the schools but only 100 to 150 students will get admissions in class one or prep in each school.

According to officials, each school every year receives as many as 1,000 applications for new admissions in class one and the schools, which has not good reputation in terms of education, receive less response.

Many believe that the reason behind unusual rush is massive growth of population. The population of the capital has been doubled during the last decade but no increase has been made in the number of schools.

According to a housing survey conducted in 2010, the population of the capital has been doubled since the last census in 1998.

The housing survey conducted by the Census Department in collaboration with the Federal Directorate of Education and the local administration in April 2011, estimated the capital’s current population at around 2 million while the 1998 census put it at 800,000.

But despite the massive surge the number of primary education institutions in the capital remained almost the same. For two million people, there are only 191 primary schools. “Owing to this tremendous pressure, the competition is very high. You need some strong connection in the Education Directorate or Ministry of CADD to even get admission in class one and if you need admission in higher classes, you need strong backing,” a father Zulfiqar Khan said.

The school staff also told that due to pressure from the Ministry and Directorate they only accommodate children on recommendations of high-ups.

According to parents, there is no criteria of selection and as per the application form, the decision of the management will be final and cannot be challenged in any court of law. Many who have been denied admissions are feared to remain illiterate. “I cannot afford private school, the government school is not giving admission to my child and now I have no option but to send my son to some workshop to learn some skills,” Akram Masih, a resident of F-sector said with a grief.

Some believe that it is not the number of schools but the politics in schools and federal education secretariat which has crippled the whole education system. Every school starts only two to three new sections, whereas they can easily add one or two more but nobody bothers, an insider said.

He said there are groups in the directorate, who spend all the time in politics against the other group instead of doing something productive.

If the top managers spend all their time in litigation against each other, the organisation is bound to fall, he said.

The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Director-General Shahnaz Riaz has been, reportedly, removed from her post more than six times since 2010 but she managed to come back through pleading her case in court.

There are groups and every group has waged war against the other, and they are well protected, official said.

The affairs in the institutions under the directorate are not different from the directorate.

Insiders claim that most of the senior teachers did not take their classes and spend most of the time in staff rooms. The daily wages teachers are de-motivated due to less salary and delays in payments.

After the announcement of new policy about the future of the 2000 FDE employees working on the basis of daily wages, the staff has resumed their duties after strike but many believe more is required.

It is a mindset, there are daily wages teachers who draw salary but not come to school, permanents don’t want to teach, former secretary Khalid Hanif who tried to reform the education sector but the powerful mafia made him an example by removing him from the post, an official said.

Khalid Hanif was an honest and upright officer of the Management group but he was removed from the post of Secretary CADD and was sent to a defunct post in the National Commission of Human Development.

According to officials, Hanif wanted to accommodate all interested new students into existing schools by creating additional sections. A move strongly resisted by staff who does not want to teach extra classes.

He also questioned the wrong doings of the staff and resultantly the mafia activated against him.

Teachers claim that meager funds, inhuman working conditions for teaching staff and low salaries are the real reasons behind abysmal condition of the education system.

They claimed if 1,736 teachers vacancies lying vacant are filled on merit, salaries are revised as per government scales, and the condition of schools is upgraded, all the kids will get admission and the quality of education will also improve.

Under the Prime Minister Education reforms a massive up-gradation of educational institutes in capital is already started.

Under the initiative all 422 schools of the capital will get 1,191 new classrooms, 172 IT labs, 3,875 computers, 307 science labs, 692 clean drinking water plants, 86,384 chairs, 30,774 desks, 1,043 toilets, and 172 canteens.

Induction of new teachers has also been started but the ground reality remains the same that thousands of kids have been denied primary education this year.