Sep 8, 2021
A comprehensive report conducted by UNICEF in 2015 found that 40% of children in Sindh have never been inside a school. This alarming rate has hardly improved since then, despite the fact that an education emergency in Sindh has been declared by the Minister for Education ages ago.
Feeding Hungry Children
It is believed that a huge reason for the primary schools illiteracy rate in Sindh is due to extreme poverty. Parents have the burden to somehow feed their undernourished children. As a result, many families opt to send their children to Madrassahs rather than primary schools, where children are provided with meals as well as education.
Unfortunately, quality education is not a top priority of these Madrassahs, so while they are feeding hungry children, it is depriving those same children of receiving a good education.
In a seeming attempt to combat this problem, the Sindh government announced in 2016 that it would be providing free lunches to its students. This attempt was intended to encourage parents to send their children to primary schools, while also reducing the problem of malnourishment in young children in Sindh.
Despite this well-intentioned attempt, the education crisis in Sindh has not significantly improved.
How to Improve Education Crisis in Sindh
There is no easy solution to this longstanding education emergency in Sindh. While the entire education sector in Pakistan is in dire need of reforms, the crisis in Sindh is particularly alarming, with almost half of the youth population in Sindh having never stepped foot in a school.
Clearly, in order to improve this situation, the Minister of Education will need to do much more than provide free lunches as an incentive to send children to school.
Major reforms to the quality of education is needed to improve the trustworthiness and security of primary schools in Sindh. Accessibility to these schools is also a major concern that must be addressed in order to combat this education emergency.
Uneducated parents must be made aware of the importance of educating their children, and must be provided with incentives accordingly to make their children’s education possible, even in their poverty. Finally, parents must be able to see visible improvements in the education sector so that they can feel secure in sending their children to school.
Only through these major long-term reforms will Sindh be able to lift itself out of this major education emergency.