An image comparing literacy in different provinces is making rounds on social media. According to statistics, Sindh lags behind all provinces in learning and literacy, with only 24 percent of 5th graders reading sentences in English.
13 consecutive years in power since the 18th Amendment and Sindh lags behind all provinces in learning and literacy.
PPP keeping Bhutto alive through ghost schools. pic.twitter.com/sAeH3kdf9X
— Enkidu (@Fallibilist1) March 11, 2022
According to the figures, Azad Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as the most literate province where 86 percent of children can read English sentences. Punjab and then Gilgit-Baltistan follow AJ&K.
According to broader public opinion, the Sindh government has failed the province. The social media users have hit out at Pakistan People’s Party, which has been ruling the province for over a decade now, saying that it is keeping Bhutto alive through ghost schools.
According to a report published in Express Tribune, 11,000 ghost schools in Sindh have teachers but no students. It added teachers in these schools draw reasonable salaries without doing any work, which burdens the state’s limited resources.
The report also pointed out that there are 1.8 schools for every 1,000 students in rural Sindh. Meanwhile, a mere 15% of primary and middle schools have two teachers. There are only a little above 2,000 secondary schools against around 49,000 primary schools.
Not only that, but many schools are even devoid of adequate facilities like drinking water, toilet, playgrounds, and boundary wall. For these reasons, enrolment in the schools has become stagnant, according to the report.
Earlier, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan Chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri was quoted as saying that “Pakistan’s education system can produce neither good students nor good citizens.” The president of Szabist, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, added that the universities were not focusing on social sciences to solve our societal problems.
According to another report, Sindh purchased schools desks for reportedly Rs. 29,500. In a complaint to the Sindh government, Transparency International Pakistan said the provincial education department is allegedly buying desks for public schools at a 320% higher rate.
TIP stated that bidders offered tender prices between Rs. 5,700 to Rs. 6,860 per desk. But the provincial School Education and Literacy Department did not award contracts causing a loss of about Rs. 3.3 billion to the treasury.
On the other hand, SELD has announced a 5-day training on digital learning theme in participation with UNICEF Sindh. Taking to Twitter, the department said the Sindh government aims to provide access to quality education through digital technology to all children in the province.
With the vision of providing access to quality education through #digitaltechnology to all children in #Sindh, Reform Support Unit #SELD, Govt of Sindh in partnership with #UNICEFSindh organized five-days training on #DigitalLearning Theme, where Master Trainers from selected pic.twitter.com/4dSei43qMD
— Sindh School Education (@SELD_Sindh) March 11, 2022
Critics have urged the Sindh government to improve the standard of education in these schools by engaging quality teachers and offering them better salaries. They should be at least provided the basic facilities if not the high-tech ones available in developed countries.