85% of schools in Sindh lack basic facilities including drinking water, 90% don’t have a science teacher
During the last decade, the situation of educational institutes in Sindh has deteriorated further.
Reports state that there are 49,103 schools in the Sindh province. However, 5,922 of these educational institutes don’t have basic facilities like toilets, drinking water, electricity, or boundary walls. 37,705 schools in Sindh have only “one” of these facilities.
Why is the condition of Sindh’s schools so poor?
According to an official report presented to the Sindh Cabinet recently, less than 10 percent of the province’s total schools (primary, middle, elementary, and high) have a science teacher, while around 70 percent of these schools are without laboratories. The Head of Thar Education Alliance (TEA) Partab Rai Shivani said:
For years, education has been on the back burner. The province is lagging behind in education, particularly in Science and Mathematics, which is considered the essential component of school education.
During the last decade, the situation of educational institutes in Sindh has deteriorated further. Shivani stated:
The TEA has been pushing the matter with the authorities. Several ‘science festivals’ were organized in districts of interior Sindh to make people realize how important the subjects of science and mathematics are for the students.
Nonexistent Infrastructure in Schools
The Head of Thar Education Alliance shared:
Poverty, as well as the dilapidated state of school buildings, is also a major cause of people’s lack of interest in sending their kids to these institutions. According to the education ministry’s report, 4,364 schools in the interior Sindh are without shelter, while 10,516 are working in a single room. Similarly, there are 18,660 schools where only one teacher is available, while 12,136 are without any teachers.
6 Million Children out of School
Referring to a report claiming that 4.2 million children in Sindh are still out of school, Partab Rai Shivani said:
The number of children out of school could be much higher. According to Alif Alaan, an NGO working for education, 6 million children in Sindh are out of school. Formal and non-formal education both have been grossly neglected in Sindh.
39 percent Female Literacy rate
Partab Rai Shivani said:
Girls’ education in Sindh is also dreadfully low, at 39 percent, while boys’ ratio is 61 percent. The general literacy in the province is 62 percent, which is again one point lower than the last years at 63 percent.
The Head of Thar Education Alliance further shared:
After conducting science festivals successfully for boys, TEA plans to organize Science, Technology Engineering Maths (STEM) festivals for girls this year. We are now focusing on raising girls’ education level in this particular direction.
Referring to the Standardised Achievement Test (SAT) that is conducted by the Sindh government every year for students of 5th and 7th grades, Shivani stated:
The overall output of students is below 30 percent; the girls’ score is worse than boys. Through STEM festivals for girls, we shall raise awareness and highlight the lack of facilities, science teachers, labs, etc., at girls’ schools. Private institutions will also be asked to invest in girls’ education.
What is the Government doing to improve Education in Sindh?
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presented Sindh’s education budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 in June 2021 and said:
The government of Sindh envisages providing quality education to all, enabling our children to realize their full potential. We must take a good look at the curriculum being followed in schools to ensure that they are free from outdated ideas and train our teachers so that they take a genuine interest in stimulating keenness and curiosity in our children from the outset so that our future generation comprises thinkers and innovators in every field of inquiry. With that aim in sight, the government has allocated the highest percentage of resources towards education in 2021-22. It will see an increase of 13.5 percent over the allocation of the current financial year. So for the next financial year, we propose to enhance the budget for education to Rs. 277.5 billion from the previous Rs. 244.5 billion.
He further stated:
The school education and literacy department have been allocated Rs. 14 billion for 117 ongoing schemes and 186 new schemes. Most schemes are for upgrading existing government schools from primary to secondary levels, rehabilitating and improving schools, providing furniture, basic and missing facilities, construction and reconstruction of existing dangerous school buildings.
With increasing awareness in Sindh, many organizations are volunteering to improve educational facilities in the province. Residents of Sindh hope that authorities also take note of the matter and fulfill their promise of establishing initiatives to strengthen the future of tomorrow’s generation.
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