Schools in Badin paint a dismal picture

Noshad Shah

The state of education in Sindh presents a gloomy picture where 52% of school-age children are out of school.

District Badin has been ranked, according to Alif Ailaan’s (countrywide) District Education Rankings 2016-2017, at 124 out of 141. This ranking points to an alarming situation. There are a total of 2,934 schools in the district with 306 girls and 462 boys and 2,166 mixed schools (including 116 dysfunctional schools) that are insufficient to cater to the needs of the students.

The district has 589 shelterless schools i.e. have no building. Basic facilities that provide for an environment conducive to learning are missing in many schools.

The district ranking shows 42.42 score for primary schools and 57.43 score for middle schools in terms of water availability, another factor in the decline of students’ attendance particularly of already vulnerable segment of society – the girls.

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Education can be better imparted if the institutions are well built and equipped with necessary tools for learning. But, according to the district ranking report, only 36.05 primary schools and 39.6 middle schools scores for buildings paint a dismal picture. There are allegations that funds of School Management Committee (SMC) are often misappropriated and none is held accountable for that. As a result the buildings resemble ruins rather than educational institutions.

Another deep malaise is of closed schools. There are a total of 113 primary schools closed throughout the district. Out of a total of 306 girls’ schools in the district, 24 are closed, creating an alarming situation and widening gender gap.

As per data findings, 1,314 one room schools are being run across the district. This is inadequate for student numbers, as are 1,843 one-teacher schools.

If Badin District has to climb out of the bottom of the rankings, immediate and concrete measures are needed as the situation is crying out for pro-active steps.

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