Ali Gul Leghari
Famous American essayist and Lecturer said “Education lies in respecting the students”. This quote indicates that student is the result of tomorrow about what a teacher conveys to him today. Many articles are written on educational system, issues and challenges needs and improvements on daily basis. According to the economic survey of May-2017, literacy rate of Pakistan has sadly dropped by 2% from 60 to 58 now. If we think about the education of Sindh Province, the literacy rate is currently 48% which is as stable as it was before and no improvement is found in previous year.
Sindh province covers the rural area more than urban area therefore the challenges in education in rural areas are at peak level. There are many factors that’s which have affected the basic and primary education system despite the enormous claims made of Sindh Govt regarding improvement in Education, almost zero result in found. Education system can only be improved if the involvement of following factors is permanently removed at base level.
Basic Facilities and Infrastructure: Most of the Primary Schools in rural part of Sindh province lack the basic facilities like drinking water, electricity, functional washrooms with proper sanitation, sufficient furniture for teaching staff and students. The absence of any of these facilities discourage the students enrollment and affects the daily head count. Physical infrastructure of most of the schools is also very poor. Many schools have no or damaged boundary walls. Many schools are built with two classrooms structured building where the space is small as compared to enrollment. The students are made to sit in congested rooms even in some schools, the corridor is also used as classrooms due to the lack of extra classrooms.
Teaching Staff and Academics: In many schools, the teaching staff is either fresh or less experienced. The experienced teaching staff have also been using the old tradition of teaching in this modern technology period. Due to the usage of old curriculum, old teaching tradition and lack of educational environment, the student of today still fears and thinks the school as prison for him.
Political Influence: besides that, the schools’ buildings are used for Public gathering, marriage ceremony and go downs purpose, where the landlords of local areas head the schools with their own will and become the chairman of MSC of the school only for the funds which are spent for their personal purpose, the local political parties also use teachers as their agents during the election, in other words the teachers are compelled to do as directed by the head of local political parties. What will be the interest of that teacher to teach the students with zeal?
Teachers Unions: Teacher has great responsibility as he is the only source of building the students future, but here, the teachers so called unions has also played major role in destruction of education. Almost all the teachers’ unions have always spoken about their own interests. If ever their demands are not fulfilled, the schools are shut for many days even for months depending on their long marches and strikes. But till today, not a single teacher has been seen striking in favor of fulfilling the demands of students’ basic facilities and for the sake of betterment of education.
Enrollment and Quality Education: Education Department of Sindh has made many reforms in improving the education system like introduction to Bio-Matric system for ensuring the teachers presence, appointment of monitoring assistants, increase in annual educational budget etc. The main purpose of all these efforts has been focused on teachers punctually and increase in enrolment ratio. Let’s agree on the point that now the teachers are regular to their schools and due to their daily presence, the enrollment ratio might also be increased but the question is the are these teachers providing quality education with their enthusiasm or are there any steps taken to ensure the quality education. It is also important to know quality must be focused instead of increasing the quantity because if the quality is improved then the quantity will automatically increase.
Conclusion: The education of our province can only be improved when well qualitied, experienced or fully trained teachers become the punctual of their full interest to teach the students only. The changes can occur when the unions of teachers will strike and the demand of basic facilities of schools and children, and when the teachers will be set free from the influence of local landlords and local political parties from their personal purposes. After all these requirements are fulfilled, then the responsibility comes to parents and community to let their children go schools. It also mandatory to know that there is dire need of awareness on importance of education. Besides the proper implementation and monitoring of Education Department Sindh, the education of our Sindh can be enhanced when a teacher deeply feels his responsibility to educate the children, when the unions will give first preference to the children in their valued demands and when every person related to education feels his responsibility and fulfills it honestly and sincerely.