Shortage of basic facilities in Government Girls Primary School Ali Muhammad, New Markaz Kala speaks volumes about the Punjab government’s apathy to provide education.

More than 100 students of the school are suffering hardship due to lack of basic facilities like teachers, furniture, learning material, toilets, water, electricity and boundary walls etc. There are only 15 wooden bench and desk for 114 students. Electricity meter is available but supply is disconnected. Without supply of electricity, more than Rs17,000 current bill of electricity is still payable. The Students including girls are forced to drink water from a nearby mosque of the town.

Many students have fallen ill after drinking sour water and due to harsh winter winds.

Local residents Khalil, Gull Muhammad and Hafeez Khan talking to The Nation complained that the education authorities are playing the role of silent spectators over the matter of public interest. The school also lacks a playground that is essential for schoolchildren. Only two female teachers are available in the primary school.

There are total 1,353 primary schools in district DG Khan including 556 for females, total enrollment of students of primary schools is 110,917 including 58,848 female students and total strength of teachers of primary schools is 3,643 including 1,600 female teachers across the district, as per a non-profit organisation.

It added that due to lack of facilities, corruption of funds and better private sector education as compared to public sector education, approximately 236,673 children are still out of school in DG Khan and majority is girls. It added that the school is ‘bleak picture’ with regard to infrastructure and quality of education in district DG Khan. Thus, parents have shifted their children to private schools. Non salary Budget (NSB) and School Management Council (SMC) funds are big source of direct corruption of concerned educational authorities.

The government is taking hollow credit for increasing girls’ enrollment in schools, while paying no attention to develop the facilities and environment congenial for girls’ education, regional coordinator of the NGO said.

When contacted, District Education Officer (Female) Ferzana Bukhari admitted that the school faced with the issued. She said that school name is enlisted for repairing of boundary walls and other basic facilities scheme. Its repairing work will be complete till May, 2016. Rs37,000 has been issued by NSB to head teacher of concerned school for its minor works, she said.

Headmistress Aalia Perveen said that due to non-availability of funds, electric supply is not functional.

Aalia said that only one teacher Samia Batool is serving here for 114 students. She is facing very hardship due to acute shortage of female teachers. The high-ups verbally allowed her to hire teachers through NSB funds but it is not a proper way, she said. Aalia also refused Rs37000 grant for repair work.