Future of Karachi street children at risk as ‘footpath-school’ faces closure

Charity-run institution provides uniform, books, food and Rs50 a day to street children attending the school


News Desk February 01, 2018
Charity-run institution provides uniform, books, food and Rs50 a day to street children attending the school. EXPRESS SCREENGRAB

The Sindh government has barred the ‘footpath-school’ in Karachi’s Clifton area from providing free education to hundreds of underprivileged children, putting the future of these street children at stake.

The charity-run institution provides uniform, books, food and Rs50 a day to the street children attending the school, Express News reported.

The Sindh government has formed a committee to shift the students to government-run schools established at the shrines of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi and Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan and another one near Manchar Lake in Dadu.

Bringing education to the streets of Karachi

The committee, headed by MD Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) Naheed Shah Durrani, was comprised the secretary information and archive department, secretary social and welfare department, secretary Auqaf and religious affairs, special secretary school education and literacy department, concerned deputy commissioners and Director Programs and Planning SEF Rafique Mustufa.

Naheed Shah Durrani opined that the footpath schools were not providing quality education to the street children, a claim the NGO that helps run the school oppose.

The Ocean Welfare Organisation, a local NGO for street children lauded the efforts of the footpath school and wished to collaborate with its administration for upgrading the schools.

Durrani claimed the footpath school near the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine was only good from the point of view of promoting the NGO running the facility.

Footpath School children in Karachi dance their hearts out

However, Syeda Anfas, the head of the footpath school said the school served no other purpose but to provide free education to underprivileged children, who used to sell stuff at roadsides, steal and do drugs. She said these children were being provided free education at the school for the past three years.

“All this is happening with the help of the Pakistani citizens,” she added.

Ironically, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah not only cut the cake on Pakistan’s independence day with these children last year but also donated Rs1 million for the school course.

The Sindh government’s step to shut down the school was apparently aimed at minimizing the effect of the international media’s coverage of the school, resulted in giving a bad reputation to the provincial government.

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