State-run schools lack basics


A good student-to-teacher ratio was observed in 103 out of 147 state-run girls’ primary schools monitored nationwide in October but these institutions continue to lack essential facilities.
According to a report released by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Monday, in 67 schools of Punjab, one teacher was available to 34 students on average and it was one for 27 students in 36 schools of Sindh. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ration was one teacher for 29 students
However, 40 students were the responsibility of one teacher in 29 schools of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 41 in 12 schools of Balochistan and 72 in three schools of FATA, the report stated.
It said the FAFEN governance monitors visited 147 schools in 89 districts nationwide – 67 of them in 30 districts of Punjab, 36 in 23 districts of Sindh, 29 in 21 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12 in as many districts in Balochistan and three in as many agencies in FATA.
“Attendance of teachers was between 76 and 100 percent at 77 percent of the monitored schools while the same attendance ratio was maintained by students at 63 percent schools. Nationwide, 41 teaching posts were vacant in 137 monitored schools which shared this information,” the report said.
With regard to non-teaching staff, 131 schools did not have sanitary workers. However, 132 were found to be clean, hinting they were cleaned by the students themselves. Eighty-nine schools did not have security guards while 17 were without boundary walls.
The report said at least 80 percent schools did not have staffrooms for teachers. There were no desks and chairs for students in 48 percent of the schools while a fifth didn’t have any for teachers.
Nineteen schools nationwide lacked black/white boards and 44 percent did not have arrangements for clean drinking water for students. Moreover, despite the acknowledged importance of physical education for both girls and boys, two-thirds of the monitored schools lacked playgrounds for students.
The report claimed that forty schools nationwide were without electricity while 67 percent of those in Balochistan, at least 30 percent in Punjab and Sindh and 17 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not have fans. In addition, 23 schools were not well-lit. It said that two visits were made by MNAs, both to schools in Punjab, while one was made by an MPA, also in the same province. Other elected representatives (ex-nazims etc) made five visits, all in Punjab.