45% Girls’ Primary Schools Lack Clean Drinking Water Arrangements;
73% Schools in KPK and Balochistan hit-hard by militancy and insurgency are without a security guard
Forty five percent of the government girls’ primary schools monitored by FAFEN in April 2011 lacked clean drinking water for students. According to FAFEN’s Education Institution Monitor, this crucial arrangement was not available in 35 of the 78 monitored schools - 08 in Punjab, 11 in Sindh, 12 in KPK and in all the 04 schools monitored in Balochistan.
FAFEN Governance Monitors visited 78 government girls’ primary schools in 52 districts of four provinces in April 2011. Thirty one schools were monitored in 19 districts of Punjab, 26 in 17 districts of KP, 17 in 12 districts of Sindh and four schools in as many districts of Balochistan.
Non-availability of clean drinking water is a cause for concern since girls stand at risk of dehydration, especially as it is unlikely that they would be allowed off the premises to fetch water from surrounding areas. In any event, it is a requirement that clean drinking water be present on the premises of all state run educational institutes.
The monitored schools were also lacking in support and sanitation staff. This non-teaching staff is essential as it does not only provide assistance to teachers and students but also helps in maintaining school cleanliness. However, 50% of the schools did not have a peon and 88% lacked a serving sanitary worker. Though the support and sanitation staff was lacking in most of the monitored schools, the class rooms of 85% of schools were found to be clean. It is possible that due to absence of non-teaching staff the responsibility of keeping the class rooms clean was taken up either by the students or by the teachers themselves.
Despite deteriorating law and order situation and a constant threat to girls’ educational institutes by militants and other extremist forces, only 27% of the 78 monitored government girls’ primary schools were provided with a security guard. 21 schools monitored in Punjab, 18 in KPK, 14 in Sindh and all the 04 schools monitored in Balochistan did not have security guards. With areas like KPK and Balochistan affected by militancy and insurgency, the security of educational institutes should be of prime importance to the government.
Facilities for students and teachers were also lacking as half of the monitored schools did not have chairs and tables for students and 20% lacked this furniture for teachers. As many as 55% of the monitored schools did not have playgrounds for students, while staff rooms were available for female teachers in only 24% of the monitored schools. However, facilities like electricity connections and fans were provided in more than 70% of the monitored schools while black/white boards were available in 95% of schools. Moreover, almost all the schools were observed to be housed in proper buildings.
The highest number of students per teacher was observed in schools in KPK, where on average one teacher was responsible for a class of 43 students. The lowest student-teacher ratio of 31:1 was observed in the schools monitored in Balochistan. In Punjab and Sindh the average student-teacher ratios stood at 37:1 and 34:1 respectively.