Lax Security, Inadequate Facilities at Girls Middle Schools

A Survey of 106 Girls Middle Schools in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Almost three fourths (72%) of the Girls’ Middle Schools in the country do not have any security arrangements, according to FAFEN Education Institution Monitor, which is based on the monitoring of 106 Girls Middle Schools across Pakistan during October 2010.

FAFEN Governance monitors visited 106 state-run Girls’ Middle Schools in the month of October 2010 to observe the conditions of physical infrastructure, staffing, availability of teachers, facilities and funds and attendance of teachers and students in the schools.

Despite governmental claims of providing foolproof security to educational institutions in the face of terrorist threats and attacks around the country, no security guard was present at 72% of the monitored schools — 100% in Balochistan, 73% in Sindh and KP and 63% in Punjab.

Security arrangements for female students and teachers are imperative in view of militancy and precedents of attacks on school buildings by militants. While the monitored schools are maintaining rudimentary physical infrastructure, a significantly large proportion of schools were without proper buildings, furniture, required facilities for staff and students and recreational services.

As many as 48% schools had no staffroom for teachers and 45% schools lacked required furniture in the classrooms. The facility of clean drinking water for the students was also not available in 38% of the monitored schools across the country. The situation reported to have been worst in Sindh, where 54% of the monitored schools lacked clean drinking water, followed by 44% schools in Balochistan. Half of the schools monitored were without a playground, with regions registering almost a similar trend – 56% schools in Balochistan, 54% in KP, 50% in Sindh and 47% in Punjab.

On average, 15% of the teaching posts and 13% non-teaching posts in Girls’ Middle Schools, monitored nationwide were vacant. According to the data collected by FAFEN, one teacher was available for 27 students on average in observed schools nationwide. However, lower ratio was seen in Balochistan, where a teacher was available for every 43 students. Nationwide, 68% monitored schools reported maximum (76% to 100%) teacher attendance on the day of monitoring. Around 71% schools reported maximum student attendance. Transparency surfaced as a major issue during FAFEN’s monitoring of girls’ schools. More than 83% of the Girls’ Middle Schools of the country, observed by FAFEN in the month of October 2010, declined to share budgetary details. No school in Balochistan, FATA and ICT shared budgetary information.

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