Punjab has received an overall B grade in a report compiled by Alif Ailaan, showing slow improvement in schools education.
The Alif Ailaan report card campaign, started in 2013, assesses the performance of MNAs and MPAs against four benchmarks. They are: state of school facilities, state of gender parity, student-to-teacher ratio and the student retention rate between class IV and class II. In Lahore, only 11 out of 25 constituencies got a B or better grades. Fourteen received a D. Out of a total of 18 A grade constituencies, 14 are in south Punjab. PP-159, the constituency represented by the chief minister, received a B grade.
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The most notable improvements were registered in constituencies in Multan, Rajanpur and Muzaffargarh. The situation in Gujranwala, Rahim Yar Khan and Sheikhupura worsened.
Among Faisalabad’s 22 constituencies, 18 received a B or better. Constituencies represented by Sheikh Ijaz Ahmad and Rana Sanaullah Khan received A’s.
The report said that the overall trend recorded in the Punjab was modest improvement as 59 per cent of the constituencies received an overall B or better.
The report said out of the 297 provincial assembly constituencies, only 18 were found to have made substantial overall progress since the 2013 general elections.
Some south Punjab constituencies in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Bahawalpur, made the most improvement in school facilities, getting A+. Situation in several constituencies in Lodhran, Pakpattan, and Khanewal, deteriorated in terms of infrastructure. Several constituencies in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Bahawalnagar and Muzaffargarh scored an A. South Punjab continued to perform poorly in student retention rates. The report said that 54 per cent of the constituencies province-wide had a C or a worse grade. Improvement was well-distributed in gender parity across north, central and south Punjab. Most of the constituencies in central Punjab, including Lahore and Faisalabad, continued to do well on this count.
Several constituencies in Multan, Rahim Yar Khan and Lodhran showed considerable improvement. Six constituencies in Muzaffargarh and four in Sialkot received a D or worse. More than 53 per cent of Punjab’s constituencies received a B or better.
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Improvement was found in student-teacher ratio to be well-distributed across the province. Constituencies in Faisalabad, Lahore and Muzaffargarh showed the most improvement in the province. Twelve out of Rawalpindi’s 14 constituencies received a C or worse, including Qamarul Islam Raja’s constituency. Eleven out of Faisalabad’s 22 constituencies scored a B or better. Sialkot’s 11 constituencies received a C or worse. Seventeen constituencies in Lahore scored a B or better. Education Minister Rana Mashhood’s constituency scored a D on student-teacher ratio. The report stated that girls’ enrolment in public schools had increased in the Punjab due to parents’ preference of sending male children to private schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2015.
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