SANGHAR: If the Sindh government decides to go ahead with the decision to close down 1,100 primary schools, Sanghar district will suffer the most.
The government announced that all these schools will be closed as their standard of education is not up to the mark.
Abdul Majeed, a resident of Sanghar who works for a welfare organisation, became worried when he opened the newspaper one day to find out that the government was planning to shut down several schools. The advertisement, sent by the Education Reform Support Unit Management Information System, published a list of all substandard primary schools that may soon fail to exist.
“If the schools are closed down, the teachers will become unemployed and the children will lose the opportunity to gain education,” said a disappointed Abdul Majeed. “This is wrong.”
If the government goes ahead with this decision, “we will go to the civil society courts and protest”, he added.
Nearly 162 schools in Sanghar will suffer if the government implements this decision. Apart from civil society, teachers are also upset. “Corruption will increase everywhere as many of us will become unemployed and will have nowhere to go,” said Shafiullah Mansoori, a government schoolmaster.
According to the 1998 census, the population of Sanghar district is more than 1.4 million and almost 30 per cent of these people are children between the ages of five and 10 years. There are a total of 3,100 primary schools registered in the entire district.
EDO Education Sanghar Muhammad Hussain Khaskheli explained the government’s reasons for closing down these schools. “Some of these schools have a building but do not have any students,” he said. “In some areas, families have shifted to other areas or entire villages have moved elsewhere so there is no point in keeping such schools,” he added.
According to Khaskheli, only 146 of such ghost schools are being shut down.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2010.
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