More than 5000 schools in Sindh closed down since 2012

The number of students in government schools has decreased to more than one million in the past six years, while 23,000 schools have no electricity and 98% of them do not have labs. Though new institutions are being set up, incompetence on the part of the education department has resulted in the closure of more than 5,000 schools.
These statistics were revealed in an annual census report of the education and health departments and the education management information system.
The report said that there were 47,557 elementary, secondary and higher secondary schools in Sindh in 2012, which have been reduced to 42,383. According to the education department, this includes the closure of non-functional schools. However, after Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s education emergency, more than 2,000 schools were reopened.
Though there has been a decline in the number of students in government schools, an increase was witnessed in the number of teachers hired. The total number of teachers in 2012 was 1.4 million which increased to more than 1.5 million. Various technologies are being used to enhance the quality of education the world over, however, thousands of schools in Sindh do not have access to basic facilities.

CM admits to failure of education emergency
According to the report, there are more than 16,000 schools in Sindh without any boundary walls while another 15,000 schools do not have any washrooms and in more than 18,000 schools, students do not have access to clean drinking water. Besides this, there are more than 23,000 schools without electricity. Out of the total 42,383 government schools remaining in Sindh, more than 75% of the them do not have a playground while 98% schools do not have any laboratory facilities.
In addition to this, more than 41,000 schools do not have a library either. It was also disclosed that only about 14,000 schools had functional buildings while another 15,000 schools have buildings that require extensive repair work. More than 6,000 schools’ buildings have been termed dangerous while another 5,000 school buildings are without a roof.
Education experts said that the appointment of unqualified officers and political interference is the cause for decline of education in the province. An annual increase in the education budget was also witnessed and a major part of the budget is reserved for salaries.

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Over 1,000 prisoners sign up for Allama Iqbal Open University courses

Being behind bars does not mean on e stops academic learning. Around 1,000 prisoners in various jails of the country have signed up for the distance learning courses offered by AIOU.

This was disclosed by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) VC Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui while presiding over a meeting to review the varsity’s educational facilities being extended to disadvantaged groups.

The prisoners enrolled in the autumn of 2017 for upgrading their qualification so that when they complete their sentences and leave the jail, they can have an education certificate which allows them to lead respectable life in society. Dr Siddiqui said that the varsity had improved its existing facilities at jails throughout the country, providing free education to prisoners, as a part of its endeavour for taking care of marginalised sections of society.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2018.

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Free coaching classes for Buner students

BUNER: The Buner district government on Wednesday launched free coaching classes for position holding girls and boys to prepare them for the higher secondary school certificate examinations scheduled to be held in March.

The classes have been launched at the government centennial model high school, Daggar, where hostel, food and tuition facilities have been offered to the students.

Commissioner Malakand Division Syed Zaheerul Islam, Buner Deputy Commissioner Zareeful Maani, district nazim Dr Obaidullah, district naib nazim Yousaf Ali Khan, district education officers (males and females) Bakht Zada and Sadia Aliaslaunched the classes ata colourful function.

The students, their parents, teachers, social, political, religious figures, elected members and heads of government departments were also in attendance. The students also recited Hamd and Naat and presented national songs. National anthem was also played on the occasion.

The commissioner Malakand, who was the chief guest, said education played pivotal role in the society’s development. He said nations rose and fell due to their standard of education and urged the students to devote their time to studies.

He appreciated the steps taken by the district government for polishing the talent of the position holding students.

The other speakers pointed out that for free coaching classes last year the district government had provided Rs5 million, and this year Rs6 million had been earmarked for the purpose.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2018

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