SPO View Online
The report is mainly based on qualitative primary data with certain parts borrowed from the secondary sources mainly to contextualize the state of education in districts Tharparkar and Badin (Sindh). The purpose of the research study was to assess the state of missing facilities in schools, attendance of teachers and students, enrollment, retention and drop out of students and to assess the quality of education along with giving a cursory look to the governance, accountability and management of education at the district level.
Certain qualitative findings are corroborated with the ideas and insights gained through the secondary source of information. Important findings include the higher enrolment of boys than girls at all levels of education in both districts i.e. Badin and Tharparkar. Most of the primary schools consist on one room due to which schools remain overcrowded. Children from the minority languages and minority ethnic communities are more likely to be out of schools.
Whereas, veil (parda), shortage of teachers particularly female teachers and absenteeism, scarcity of schools, in particular girls’ schools, distance and lack of transportation system, sporadic and permanent closure of schools, specifically of girls schools, lack of basic facilities, utterly poor infrastructure, abject poverty, trend of ‘migration’, lack of awareness in parents and poor governance are the dominant reasons for low enrollment and retention along with high dropout ratios. In addition, illiteracy of parents and absence of role models emerging successfully from the marginalized communities are also leading reasons keeping children out of schools in the districts of Badin and Tharparkar.
It is also concluded that where the quality of infrastructure is good and basic facilities like washrooms, boundary walls, drinking water and electricity are available, enrolment and completion rates are found relatively better and vice versa in both districts.
On the basis of these findings, it can be recommended that programmes and interventions be devised at the grass root level keeping the children’s and students needs and problems in mind. Other important recommendations include awareness and sensitization of parents to prefer education for their children especially for girls. In this regard, public service messages, articles, news briefs, educational advertisements, radio programs, public rallies, press conferences, media orientation and person to person campaigning can be used as a tool for mass awareness about the ‘right to education’ under the clause 25-A of the Constitution. Similarly, strong advocacy initiatives are strongly desired. At the same time, awareness campaigns shall be launched, at the District, Tehsil and Union Council levels.