CHINIOT - Although the education sector has rapidly progressed following the declaration of Chiniot as a district in 2009, officials and staff concerned are still faced with a number of problems, it has been learnt. Across these three years, the enrolment of all govt sector schools has increased to 42pc, ie, approximately 100,000-142,000. In 2009, there were just 400 schools with electricity while more than 500 public sector schools had no electricity. Now more than 700 schools have been supplied with power.There were some 500 schools without toilet and drinking water facilities. Ninety-five per cent of them have these facilities now. Many of schools had single teachers who taught seven classes from nursery to grade five. Now, at least two-three teachers have been provided to every school. About 1,300 new teachers were recruited in three years to meet the shortage of teachers.About 50 schools were upgraded to higher levels ie primary to elementary; elementary to high and high to higher secondary. Rationalisation of staff and teachers was also made with objectives of keeping uniform teacher to student ratio at average of 1:30. New building blocks were constructed in a number of schools which were facing shortage of classrooms and students had to sit in the open. Some 10 school buildings were constructed by the Idara Taleem-O-Agahi (ITA), a national organisation that had been working for quality education in the public sector schools. Moreover, the boundary walls of 100 schools were constructed in 2009 out of 450 schools. EDO Education Ashraf Ali said that most of the funds for Chiniot were utilised in Jhang before 2009 when it was part of Jhang district. But after establishment of the district Chiniot, they focused on spending every penny, released by the Punjab government, in a logical way and also sought cooperation from NGOs, philanthropists, industrialists for the provision of missing facilities and infrastructure development projects. Moreover, the School Management Committees, a body formed of school head teacher, community members and parents was strengthened at the school level and they were given Rs 100,000 each under the SMC grant for the repair of buildings; provision of clean drinking water and toilets; renovation of schools and purchase of furniture and fixture. “The community participation in budgeting and spending these funds helped in transparent and corruption free utilization,” added the EDO.Moreover, the vigilance and monitoring was also increased by field education officers; monitoring and evaluation assistants working under District Monitoring Officer.  District Monitoring Officer, Ansar Kamal told this correspondent that attendance of teachers and students at schools were ensured by surprise visits to schools and district Chiniot bagged 5th position in ranking of 36 districts of Punjab for the last three quarters in the indicators of teachers, students presence, provision of free text books, use of Audio visual aids, competency of teachers for teaching students; conducive class room environment.However, there are still a number of students which were forced to sit under open due to shortage of classrooms and other facilities.  As there is 42% raise in number of students, it created a demand of 50% increase in classrooms but Education department has insufficient funds to cope with increasing number of students.  The school libraries and computer labs also could not be functional in all the schools as there is no mechanism or financial resources to replace the computers which went out of order in computer labs established by Punjab Govt in high schools of Punjab.   Although the corruption has been minimized at District and Tehsil level, yet the clerical staff still in looting spree to teachers in various tasks like approval of long leave; completion of service books etc.Punjab Teachers Union Vice President Safdar Siraj told that although district government has succeeded to improving quality as well as infrastructure development but it made additional burden over teachers as they have not hired new teachers according to the demand and number of students.  He demanded of the Punjab government to allow recruitment of more teachers and construction of new classrooms for increasing number of students.The citizens have appreciated the unprecedented improvement in education sector in district in last three years and demanded that all the essential facilities for teaching the increased number of students should have been provided.