KARACHI: “There are over 12,000 ghost schools in Pakistan,” said Syed Arif Kamal, a member of the department of mathematics in Karachi University. “The money poured into these dysfunctional schools goes unnoticed.”
He was addressing the participants of “Curbing corruption in the education sector” organised by Transparency International, at Marriott Hotel.
Kamal reminded the audience that their vote against corruption counted. “Corruption can never be eradicated but it can be minimised.”
Other speakers included Dr Syed Abdul Aziz, the director of Hamdard Institute of Education and Social Sciences, Haroon Rashid, former director of education at Vision World Pakistan, former secretary of education, Mehtab Akbar Rashdi.
Dr Aziz held the society responsible for the differences in the education sector. According to him, one of the most attractive schemes for mafias are developmental projects. “Almost 70 per cent of the funds are allocated for education.” He said that education is one of the most corrupt sectors in Pakistan. “What we need to focus on is quantitative growth and qualitative development.” This meant that the quantity of educational institutions was adequate but their quality was deplorable.
According to him, many factors are involved in the decay of education in Pakistan, but all of them converge at corruption. The disinterested attitude of the people also worsens the situation, he added.
Rashdi also said that the society is as much part of the corruption because they put up with it in the system. “It should be mandatory for government officials to educate their children in government schools,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2011.