Ghost schools in Sindh

These schools — numbering 11,000 — have teachers but no students

March 03, 2022


The Sindh education minister has cleared doubts about permanent closure of government schools in the province. A recent statement from the minister makes it clear that only non-functional schools in the province are being wrapped up. These schools — numbering 11,000 — have teachers but no students. Teachers supposedly serving in these schools draw reasonable salaries without doing any work, thus proving a burden on the state’s limited resources. Wages of 11,000 teachers must be making up a whopping salary bill on account of payments to teachers. These ‘ghost’ teachers are getting salaries for which they have nothing to show. Also, it’s no secret that influential people are using redundant schools as their guesthouses; it’s thus better to close them down.

While the government’s focus on doing away with ghost schools in the province is appreciable, some of the statistics related to education needs its urgent attention. There are 1.8 schools for every 1,000 students in rural Sindh. A mere 15% primary and middle schools have two teachers. A big number of schools are devoid of adequate facilities like drinking water, toilet, playground and boundary wall. School enrolment in the province had gained a satisfactory momentum a few years ago, but now it has stagnated for these reasons. The government, therefore, needs to focus on increasing the number of schools in the province — especially the secondary schools which number a little above 2,000 as against around 49,000 primary schools — improving the standard of education in government schools by engaging quality teachers offering them better salaries; and providing all the fundamental facilities, if not the high-tech ones available in developed countries of the world. The education authorities, the minister in particular, have too much to do in the context.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2022.

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