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12,737 educational institutions found non-functional

ISLAMABAD, June 9(Dawn): A total of 12,737 educational institutions in the country have been found to be non-functional, with 58 per cent of them in Sindh alone.

According to the Economic Survey 2006-07, which was revealed here on Friday, almost all of these 11,589 schools and 1,148 other institutions are in the public sector. Out of them, 35 per cent are without a boundary wall, 31 per cent lacked drinking water facility, 54 per cent don't have electricity, 38 per cent are without proper latrine and 6 per cent are without a building.

The survey says lack of physical infrastructure was increasingly becoming one of the major causes for low enrolment and high dropout rates in the country. The government had earmarked Rs. 1.05 billion in 2006-07 for provision of water, toilets, science and computer labs and other facilities in government schools through the President's Education Sector Reforms. This programme would continue until all the schools have been brought to a respectable state.

Around 41 per cent schools were found to be without building in Sindh, 35 per cent in Punjab, 12 per cent in the NWFP and 6 per cent in Balochistan. Around 39 per cent schools are without electricity in Punjab, 27 per cent in Sindh, 17 per cent in the NWFP and 9 per cent in Balochistan. In Punjab 29 per cent schools are without proper arrangement of clean drinking water as compared to 25 per cent in Sindh, 21 per cent in the NWFP and 12 per cent in Balochistan.About 39 per cent schools are without proper latrine in Punjab, 22 per cent in Sindh, 18 per cent in the NWFP and to 11 per cent in Balochistan.

The total number of educational institutions in the country with a building is 216,490 out of which 51.6 per cent are in a satisfactory condition, 26 per cent need minor but 17 per cent need major repair work and only 5.7 per cent were found to be in dangerous condition.

Highest percentage of school buildings that fall in the dangerous category is in Balochistan (8.6 per cent), while maximum dangerous school buildings (about 13 per cent) are located in Azad Kashmir.

The survey said the literacy rate in Pakistan has improved in recent years albeit at a moderate pace. The overall literacy rate (10 years and above) was 45 per cent in 2001 which has increased to 54 per cent in 2005-06. The literacy rate for the non-poor went up from 51 per cent in 2001 to 59 per cent in 2005 whereas for the poor it improved from 30 percent to 40 per cent during the same period. The rate of improvement is higher for the poor as compared to the non-poor. The literacy rate among males (10 years and above) increased from 58 per cent in 2001 to 65 per cent in 2005-06 while it increased from 32 per cent to 42 per cent among females during the same period. The percentage of children aged 10-18 who left before completing primary education has decreased from 15 per cent in 2001 to 10 per cent in 2005.

The literacy rate among males is higher. However, the rate of increase in literacy for females is faster as compared to the males.

The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) at the primary school level (age 5-9 years) has been recorded at 87 per cent in 2005-06, an increase of 15 percentage point from 2001-02. A substantial increase in female gross enrolment rate (61 per cent to 80 per cent) is one of the main reasons.

The Net Enrolment Rate (NER) for the primary schools was 42 per cent in 2001-02 which has increased to 52 per cent in 2005-06. Overall, both the sexes have recorded a 10% point increase in 2005-06 as compared to 2001-02. Punjab (57 per cent) topped the list followed by Sindh, the NWFP and Balochistan. In case of NER, at the middle school level, the increase has not been so overwhelming only a 2% over the last five years.
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