RAHIM YAR KHAN: Government-run primary schools in Rahim Yar Khan District have been plagued by problems which kept these institutes in a pitiful state for years.
Tall claims made by the government about improving the infrastructure in government institutions appear to have fallen flat despite the provision of millions of rupees in funds.
Data collected by Express News from the education department revealed that in most schools, students are forced to study in terrible conditions and without the most basic of facilities. An estimated 8,099 primary school students are compelled to attend classes under the open sky.
Classrooms do not exist in at least 41% boys and 35% girls’ primary schools.
The statistics revealed that computers are provided in only 9% of the schools, while 91% are without labs and 43% lack playgrounds. Numerous schools face a scarcity of teachers, while a single tutor imparts education to 100 students, in addition to duties of elections, polio drives and census etc. In such circumstances, positive results cannot be achieved.
Out of 36 districts in Punjab, Rahim Yar Khan has constantly been rated in the 35th or 36th position by classification standards of previous governments.
The schools also lack walls, washrooms, classrooms, furniture and other basic facilities. However, their woes are not limited to the lack of basic facilities. The classrooms in most of the primary schools where students study have cracked walls.
Each year, approximately Rs7 billion are allocated from the national treasury to Rahim Yar Khan for teachers’ salaries. Despite this, the state of education affairs in the district has been on the decline. To date, NA-196 is the only constituency in the entire district where new girls degree colleges have been constructed and schools upgraded. Elsewhere, the other provincial and national constituencies could not see the construction of schools in proportion to the population of students. In the meanwhile, elected MNAs and MPAs are getting more funds to bring reforms to the education sector.
Surveys conducted by different organisations disclosed that Rahim Yar Khan consists of 75% primary schools as compared to secondary and middle institutions. However, the number of students in middle schools in the district is little and this compels many students from far-flung areas to discontinue their studies.
Similarly, education facilities along the riverside and Cholistan areas of the district are non-existent.
Students in majority of the primary and middle schools do not have access to science labs. Government statistics show that more than 40% schools are without a science lab or a science teacher.
Besides primary education, most government and nongovernment organisations in Rahim Yar Khan have neglected middle and secondary education. Education experts said that middle and high schools should be at least 50% more than the current number.
A recent report released by UNESCO stated the education campaigns such as ‘Every child in school’ will be accomplished by 2075 which reflects the government’s weak educational policies.
The core reason of decline in education standard is the non-implementation of unanimously agreed upon curriculum due to which the children of poor are facing difficulties in gaining education.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2018.