Friday, 13 March 2015

On KPK Non Functional Schools - Not exactly the same as the Headlines | A response to Dawn Article of 13th March 2015

School Enrollment program resulted in 300000 new enrollments in 2014. Over 16000 New Teachers appointed last year

This is Apropos Daily Dawn Article "Nearly 275 schools non-functional in KP" a report by Mr Sirajuddin on the 13th of March 2015.

The half truth Headline turned Many heads, raised many Eye Brows including those of PTI supporters and rightly so. I was one of them as well, so tried to have a little more read than the headline and man I was not surprised. Reading the Details, first thing that came into my mind was this is a perfect example of what a Wrong Headline can do. What a wrong way of reporting. The stats quoted are actually KPK Government stats. The Improvement in Education is a work in progress but the way the headline has been made, it is deceptive to say the least.

No stats mean anything if they are not looked in context or reported with baseline at least. I would have said Benchmark, but the benchmark in other provinces (Sindh Quoted later in the blog) is so shameful that anything slightly better than that might seem a Huge leap. So we will stick to Baseline of where it all started from.

Lets Put things in context from the SAME report first before going forward to some brief highlights about the province's current situation.

1) The figures should be looked in context and comparison , what was the situation last year and if it has improved or worsened.

2) The largest budget allocated to the education was in June/July last year, And I will be having a MORE keen eye than most to see what has been the result by the end of fiscal year.

3) Even if one looks at this report in total isolation, then these 275 Schools represent ONLY 1% of the TOTAL Number of Schools in KPK. Please Check Other Provinces for the same.

4) This number of 275 has been reduced from 3000 (read the same News piece) in JUST ONE YEAR.

5) Most of these schools if you look at the SAME NEWS PIECE are in line for Appointments.

The Problem of Closed schools back in March 2014 in KPK was , about 11% (3000+ ) were closed due to Various reasons, including Terrorism, Ghost Schools, Lack of Basic Facilities, Land Disputes and teacher-student absenteism. This 11% in March 2014 was dropped to about 4% in September, and now Looking at this report this actually shows that it has been reduced to Only 1%. Yeah, You got it right, this can actually be worked out through SAME piece of report.

KPK had one of the worst Ghost schools problems in Pakistan.100s of ghost schools were there in 2013, many of those ghost schools are now either closed or converted into regular schools. Just Recently 62 ghost schools that were closed/non functional from last 40 years were converted to regular schools most of them were from Mardan & Nowshera.

Another problem was The Teacher and Students absenteism, to tackle that Independent Monitoring Unit (or IMU) was introduced last year in April. It’s a unit “independent” of the education dept having its own district structure and management, along with about 475 monitors (both male and female) each having smartphones with GPS so as to record information about each school, primary or secondary, across the province every month. This has reduced Teacher Absentism from 30% to 16% From March 2014 to September 2014. Also has helped to spot Ghost Schools. Student Absenteeism was a whopping 48% in March 2014 , And it was reduced to 21% by September 2014.

2013-14 Primary School Enrollment 3012593. 16479746 Boys & 1364647 Girls
One example for ghost schools is Primary School Sherabad in Rustam village of Mardan district, which was reopened after 28 years of Closure in November 2014. Likewise Government Primary School Tora Banda, Closed for 7 Years, Reopened in December 2014. There is a lot of room for improvement in KPK and it is good to keep the Government in check and on their toes. Perhaps KPK Govt. seems the only one that listens to the public feedback, hence watched with a closer eye. Why I have said it? Well have a look at just a glimpse of stats from Sindh below.

Over 6000 Nonoperational schools in Sindh. 100+ ghost Schools in Karachi Only
Now Compare it with rest of the provinces. Just in Sindh Alone right now there are over 6000 non operational schools in Sindh's 27 districts. Over 4,500 are non-operational for various reasons and over 2,100 are ghost schools. Ghost schools, Sky rocketed during the past 3-4 year with a Whopping 40000 GHOST Teachers. About 100 Ghost schools are in Karachi only. Just in THATTHA , There has been a closure of 729 Schools in the past few years. Those 729 schools included about 150 Ghost schools as well JUST IN THATHA (Karachi giving it a tough competition with over 100 ghost schools).

KPK Govt's Tameer-e-School Program. Details
Up until November last year  65 schools have been funded by various organisations and individuals in KPK government's Tameer-e-School Initiative. So far 45 have been refurbished while work is in progress at six schools.
A Govt. School in ChughalPura Completely funded and operational through Tameer-E-School Program

No comments:

Post a Comment