Voter pressure can build better schools

Juman Shah

 

The world is moving faster than ever in all spheres of life. Growing competition, new inventions and effective innovations have given birth to daunting challenges.

But looking at ourselves fills one with despair. Many questions pop up in the mind. Are we really part of the modern world? What will be our future? Will we be enslaved by others and made to live a life devoid of dignity?  Is there any way to get out of the dark dungeon of poverty, climate change and environmental degradation?

Among the many issues not receiving proper attention is education. Do we need to more than state the fact that 22.8million of our children are out of school as we speak and the majority of whom are girls. But looking at Sindh with a rank of just 7 as is mentioned in Alif Ailaan Education Score for provinces report 2017 would make you further dejected.

Coming down the ladder to the district level, the education situation of Badin, a district rich in natural resources, presents a dismal picture. According to Alif Ailaan district education rankings 2016-17, the district ranks at 124 out of 141.

Quality cannot be ensured if institutions are not equipped with the necessary facilities.  The district lags far behind other areas in infrastructure. As per the findings of Alif Ailaan district education ranking 2017, there are 70% schools with no water at all. This poses a serious risk of dehydration to children during the scorching summer season.

There are 46% schools with no toilets. Lack of toilets is also a major factor in creating gender disparity and the high dropout rate of girls from schools as parents often prohibit their daughters from attending schools without toilets.

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Besides, security is another issue especially for children being educated in primary schools but the district education ranking reveals that 55% schools are without a boundary wall in the district. As temperature is increasing every year due to climate change and the district’s proximity to the Arabian Sea means it is very humid. A little rise in temperature has more impact and can a cause heatstroke but 77% schools still function without electricity. In addition to this, one-room schools (which constitute 28% of all schools in the district) are also an impediment in delivering quality education.

It has been explicitly articulated in Constitution of Pakistan Article 25-A that the state is responsible for the provision of free and compulsory education to all school-age children but nobody seems prepared to shoulder this responsibility.

This dismal state of affairs can possibly improve if the electorate makes each of its candidates promise specific steps to provide quality education and then hold these representatives to their pledges after the elections.

 

 

Rana Awais (PP-193) commits to Focus on Missing Facilities

Mian Irfan (PP-231) Commits to Provide Missing Facilities

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