Low Government Oversight of Boys Primary Schools

ISLAMABAD: Only 37% of the monitored 163 schools received visits by the government authorities during December 2012- February 2013 quarter says a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report released on Thursday.

FAFEN governance monitors who visited government boys’ primary schools in 90 districts reported 65 visits by government official/elected representatives to 61 schools- ignoring 102 schools altogether.

Negligence by the concerned authorities can be considered one of the factors leading to the lack of basic facilities and services observed in the monitored schools.

A sanitary worker was not available in 96% schools, 83% had no peon and 56% did not have a security guard.

Though 99% schools were operating out of buildings, 77% did not have staffrooms for teachers and 54% were without playgrounds. Desks and benches for students were missing in classrooms of 36% schools where as 8% did not have this facility for teachers.

One-fourth of the monitored schools did not have electricity connection while fans were not available in classrooms of 31% schools. However, 93% had windows and lights and 96% had black/white boards.

As for occupancy rate of sanctioned staff, 800 teachers were appointed against 876 posts- 91% occupancy rate, while it was 93% for non-teaching positions- 109 seats were filled against the total 117.

The average number of students per teacher was 37 in the monitored schools. Among regions, the highest number of students per teacher was observed in schools monitored in KP (46), ICT (44) and FATA (43) – beyond the government set limit of 40 for primary schools. In Punjab (38), Sindh (30) and Balochistan (32) the number was accordingly.

On the day of FAFEN observers visit, more than three-fourths of the appointed teachers were present in 86% schools while this high percentage of student attendance was observed in 79% of the monitored schools.