Overlooked Children: SHC Finds Millions of Sindh’s School-Age Population Denied Access to Education

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A child is hired to operate machinery in this Pakistani factory. ©ILO

The Sindh High Court has criticized the education department for failing to provide quality education to children in the province. The court noted that millions of children in backward areas are denied the opportunity to attend school due to a lack of teachers and school buildings.

In response to a petition against the closure of government schools, the court observed that many schools are shut down due to a shortage of teachers or the absence of proper infrastructure. The court also found that many schools are operating in damaged buildings, despite the release of funds for maintenance and repairs.

The court held the education department responsible for the failure to provide primary education to children, which is their constitutional right. The court directed the provincial government and education department to take measures to launch literacy awareness programs and reopen closed schools by appointing teachers based on merit.

The court also instructed the chief secretary to form a committee to assess the needs of schools according to the latest census and increase the number of teachers, including subject specialists. The committee was also tasked with arranging for the hiring of non-teaching staff in accordance with the law.

Furthermore, the court ordered the secretary education to immediately begin maintaining and repairing dangerous school buildings, including infrastructure, within a specified time frame. The secretary colleges and universities was directed to ensure that the education system in Sindh meets international standards and includes the use of information technology in the curriculum.

Additionally, the court directed the authorities to update libraries and provide access to digital libraries, as well as increase scholarship opportunities for talented students in a transparent manner. The court also ordered the installation of solar panels at schools to provide uninterrupted power supply and basic facilities like furniture, drinking water coolers, and toilets.

Finally, the court emphasized the importance of providing high-quality education to students in the province, stating that it is essential for their intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth, and enables them to become productive members of society.

Acknowledgement: Published by The News on 27-01-2024


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