Ignorance and indifference by government officials seems to be a common phenomenon when it comes to education and a recent report suggests no different.
According to the report released by Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) this week, nearly half of government boys’ high schools were ignored by monitoring officials between February and April this year.
Education officials and elected representatives visited only 58 schools out of 118 across the country during the quarter.
Of the monitoring officials, executive district officers made a total of 30 visits, followed by 21 visits by other officials in the government, five visits by members of provincial assemblies and one visit each by a member of National Assembly and an elected representative.
The report also points out that 43% of the monitored schools did not have any libraries, another 40% were without playgrounds and 32% had no physical training instructors. Moreover, laboratories in 20% schools were without apparatus for experiments.
Around 19% of schools did not have proper seating arrangements for students in classrooms. However, 90% of them had chairs and tables for teachers and 96% had black and white boards.
However, the situation does not seem to be entirely bleak, as classrooms of 96% schools were found to be clean even though only 83% had employed sanitary workers. This indicates that ad hoc arrangements for cleanliness had been made in 13% of the schools.
Furthermore, peons and security guards were present in 97% and 95% of the schools respectively and only 8% of sanctioned positions of non-teaching staff were lying vacant.
The highest percentage of vacant posts was recorded in Punjab (11%), followed by Sindh (9%) and K-P (3%). There were no vacant posts in the schools monitored in Balochistan and Fata.
It was also observed that the percentage of unfilled sanctioned teaching positions was higher than the non-teaching ones, with 12% posts being vacant. Among regions, 21% teaching positions in Sindh, 9% in Punjab, 8% in K-P and 6% in Balochistan were found to be vacant.
The students-per-teacher ratio in the monitored schools was also found to be satisfactory.
On average, one teacher was assigned to 26 students, which is below the limit of 50 students set by the government.
Fata had the lowest teacher-student ratio of 17 students per teacher, followed by 25 in Sindh, 27 in Punjab and 28 in K-P.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.
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