KARACHI: A multi-party convention, organized by Alif Ailaan, was held in Karachi on Thursday to discuss the failing state of education in District South, Karachi, and analyse the five-year education plans of contesting candidates of the constituencies the district.
Jibran Nasir (independent), Dr Arif Alvi (PTI), Khurram Sherzaman (PTI), Imran Ismail (PTI), Mahfoozyar Khan (MQM), Syed Abdur Rashid (JI), Mohammad Hasan Mehanti (JI), Fauzia Kasuri (PSP), Dr Afnan ullah (PMLN), Abdul Aziz Memon PPP Sheikh Javed (PMLN), Ilyas Abbasi (Independent), Najmi Aalam (PPP) and Mohammad Hassan Mehanti (MMA) took part in the panel discussion during the convention.
Analysis of the educational landscape in South Karachi revealed that availability of schools beyond primary level, quality of education, and poor school infrastructure are the three most important factors contributing to failing education standards in South Karachi.
Around 61% of all the government schools in the district are primary level. There are only 67 high and 3 higher secondary schools in the district against 202 primary schools. Therefore, the students do not have enough schools to attend post primary. Lack of schools beyond primary levels explains why there is a drop in the enrolment rates as we move up the higher classes.
There is a steep drop in enrolment numbers from 3604 in Class 10 to 509 in Class 11. Out of the 330 government schools in the district, some of them still lack basic facilities. Provision of infrastructure and basic facilities is important to raise the attendance and interest of both the students and the teachers ensuring better quality of education. The 49 schools still do not have a toilet facility, despite repeated attempts and promises by successive governments in Sindh to provide basic facilities to all schools in Sindh.
As a result, learning outcomes of children studying in schools of South Karachi are negatively impacted as demonstrated by assessments conducted by SAT at class 5 and 8 levels. The average math and science score for Class 5 is 24 while for Class 8, it is 19 for math and 22 for science subject. This can be attributed to unavailability of science labs and adequate learning and training instruments in some schools, as well as vacant positions of SSTs and SSSTs. Higher allocation for education budget, timely disbursement and effective utilization of the allocated budget is important to bring a substantial improvement in quality.