5600 ghost schools mar education standards in Sindh

KARACHI: There are 5,600 ghost schools in Sindh province that ruins education system and future of thousands of students, both male and female, according to a survey. Millennium Development Goals target of universal primary education by 2015, which seeks Pakistan should achieve 100 percent literacy rate by 2015, appears to failing because of the closer of a large number of schools.

Shakeel Memon, Spokesperson to Provincial Minister for Education, told PPI that Ministry of Education Sindh had sent a letter to all MPAs, assistant commissioners of all districts and relevant schools administration to submit detailed lists of those schools, which were closed in their areas in December 2013.

He said that some lists of closed schools had been received from different areas but they were not complete. “As soon as complete lists of ghost schools – primary, middle and secondary -is received, teachers would be sent to those schools for resuming education activities,” Memon said.

It may be mentioned here that though Pakistan has signed the Millennium Development Goals and committed to achieve the 100 percent literacy rate by 2015, but it seems the country will not be able to honour its commitment made at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000.

Sindh government’s Reform Support Unit maintains all the data about the schools, enrolment of students and availability of facilities at schools.

According to official statistics, a total number of schools in the Sindh province stands at 47,394 with enrolment of 4,249,033 children that include 1,759,177 girls and 2,489,856 boys.

The break up reveals that 1,754,030 boys against 1,209,592 girls are enrolled in primary schools of the province; 76,784 boys and 82,409 girls enrolled in middle schools, 52,449 boys and 52,268 girls enrolled in elementary schools, 411,883 boys and 300,057 girls enrolled in secondary schools and 194,710 boys and 114,851 girls are enrolled in higher secondary schools.

As far as the number of ghost schools is concerned, there are a total of 1,669 male schools in urban area, of them 117 primary schools and 42 middle schools are closed, says the official report.

There are 9,157 schools in rural areas, of which 1809 primary, 250 secondary, 64 middle, 44 elementary and 37 higher secondary schools are closed since years.

It says there are 1,651 female schools in urban area, of them 49 are primary schools, 23 middles schools, 2 secondary and 1 elementary schools, which are closed. In rural areas, the total number of schools stand at 5,941, of which 1219 primary and 62 middle schools are closed.

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