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Pakistan’s primary schools lacking in sanitary workers: Report


Islamabad: More than two-thirds of 152 boys’ primary schools in 89 districts across Pakistan are without non-teaching staff like peons, sanitary workers and security guards, according to a monitoring report.

The report issued by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) said 82 percent of the monitored schools were operating without sanitary workers, 75 percent did not have security guards while there were no peons in 70 percent of them.

However, the report said the hygienic condition of classrooms in 73 percent of the monitored schools were found to be satisfactory despite the unavailability of sanitary workers.This suggested that the responsibility of keeping the classrooms clean was taken up either by the teachers or the students themselves.

Monitors from FAFEN visited the 152 schools in September. FAFEN is a network of 42 civil society organisations, governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability, the Online news agency reported.

In Punjab, 79 schools were visited in 35 districts, 29 in Sindh’s 19 districts, 27 in 18 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 14, two and one school in as many districts in Balochistan, FATA and Islamabad Capital Territory respectively.

Around 76 to 100 percent of the teachers were present in 113 schools. A similar level of students’ attendance was observed in 104 schools.

The highest number of students-per-teacher ratio (47) was seen in schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, higher than the standard official limit of 40 students-per-teacher for all government-run primary schools.

Contrary to government policy, four schools in Balochistan, three in Punjab and one in Sindh charged students for textbooks supposed to be provided free of cost.

All the schools were housed in proper buildings, except for three in Punjab and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Clean drinking water was not available in 41 schools. A majority had electricity and fans and were well lit.