Education reform call

Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani complained that the Special Investment Facilitation Council was “infringing on provin­cial autonomy” by involving itself in education-related matters.

Mr. Rabbani is urged to visit Sindh province to witness how the provincial government has rav­aged the educational infrastruc­ture. Thousands of closed or dys­functional schools and thousands of absent teachers are no sur­prise in Sindh. The few function­al schools resemble jails, where pupils are confined to class­rooms without teachers conduct­ing classes for even a few min­utes. In rare exceptions where a few teachers are seen conducting classes, they indulge in teacher-centered, lengthy, irrelevant lec­tures riddled with the worst kind of corporal punishment. 

There is no monitoring or su­pervising mechanism by the ed­ucation department. The biomet­ric system has failed to check the tsunami of teacher absenteeism. Even the majority of the newly appointed teachers, numbering in thousands, have opted to stay out of teaching practices. These new entrants easily find accomplices in the education department who encourage teacher absenteeism. Thus, most of the newly appoint­ed teachers are seen working in NGOs, the private sector, pursu­ing academic careers, including working as journalists and law­yers. The majority of schools in Sindh lack basic facilities like electricity, washrooms, and com­pound walls.

In this context, if the IFC or any other entity tries to reform the system through policy and imple­mentation mechanisms, it should be welcomed. However, either Mr. Rabbani is unaware of the sorry state of education in Sindh, or he was merely following the party line to protest against the interference of the IFC.

Any positive interference in the education sector in Sindh is wel­come if it brings some modicum of functionality to the dying public education system that caters to the majority of downtrodden children.



ePaper - Nawaiwaqt