HYDERABAD: Four students aged four to nine years sustained head and leg injuries as the roof plaster of a primary school in Tando Muhammad Khan district collapsed. The incident happened in Government Primary Model Girls Community School in Raju Nizamani area on Thursday.
The headteacher Zubaida told local media that the plaster collapsed during recess time. A nursery student Shahzad Jamali, two second grade students Eman Jamali and Urooj Jamali and a class five student Uzma Jamali were injured. Urooj and Shahzad are siblings.
According to Zubaida, the school has written several times to the authorities to repair the crumbling structure but to no avail.
Tando Muhammad Khan District and Sessions Judge Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah and local officials visited the school. The judge also visited the village where the injured students live and met their parents. He later inspected other government schools in the same area. The judge reportedly reprimanded the officials concerned for failing to repair the crumbling school buildings.
“We couldn’t get education but we want to educate our children,” said Muhibullah Jamali, father of Urooj and Shahzad. “But if we see that the lives of our children are endangered in the school then we will be compelled to keep them at home,” he added.
In terms of school infrastructure, Tando Muhammad Khan ranks 22 among the 29 districts in Sindh while its national ranking is 93, according to Sindh Education Profile 2016-17. Around 51% of the schools lack water supply, 57% lack toilets, 60% lack boundary walls and the building condition of only 26% of the schools have been declared satisfactory in the district.
An education activist Rehmatullah Balal, who was a petitioner in the apex court case concerning ghost schools in Sindh, demanded registration of an FIR against those responsible for the school’s upkeep. “Every time such an incident happens in the government schools, the officials whose responsibility it is to maintain the school infrastructure go unscathed. And this ends their fear of punishment and exposes the school children to harm.” He asked the newly-appointed Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah to set a precedent by taking action against the officials responsible for the incident.