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HSC suppl exam results | Higher education in rural areas

HSC suppl exam results
Karachi, April 02, 2008: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) on Tuesday announced the results of HSC part II supplementary examinations 2007 of Humanities (regular) group.

According to the statistics of the result, as many as 4,518 candidates appeared in the examination of which 1,845 were declared successful with a pass percentage of 40.84.

The BIEK announcement said that the candidates would receive their marks sheets from their respective colleges after two weeks from the date of announcement of the results. APP

Only one in 13 students in higher education is from the rural areas
Karachi: The rural-urban prosperity gap is likely to further widen with the former's population being deprived of higher education. For every 12 students from the urban areas joining degree classes in the country, only one comes from the rural areas.

According to the federal education department, out of 325,000 students enrolled in degree classes, in both the public and private sector, in 2005, only 25,000 came from the rural areas.

There are several factors, including poverty, nepotism, lack of infrastructure and professional teachers in rural colleges, which have kept students away from the benefits of higher education.

Syed Shafiq Moosvi, Chairman, Institute of Modern Sciences and Arts (IMSA), Hyderabad, says that, since jobs are not provided on merit, people in the rural areas have lost faith in higher education.

With public sector jobs remaining unfilled for more than a decade, people look for employment shelter in the private sector. However, nepotism also prevails, to some levels, in the private sector as well.

As a consequence, people in the rural areas, after being confronted by a close-to-hopeless situation, usually end up working at the local level or run their own business. However, the rural economy, which is mostly made up of agriculture, continues to be plagued by issues such as the increased usage of pesticides and, of course, the lack of irrigation water.

Linked closely to the aforementioned problem, Moosvi cites poverty in the rural areas as another major hurdle for rural education. At the public universities, students from the rural areas cannot afford hostel expenses, while, at the private institutes, there are higher fees.

Moosvi says that, when provided more funding and scholarships, more students are enrolled in his institute.

Prof. Liaqat Aziz, Central Secretary, Sindh Professors and Lectures Association (SPLA), and Secretary, Sindh Employees Alliance, points to the lack of skilled professionals and infrastructure at the colleges as one of the reasons behind the lack of interest of students.

In the three districts of Thatta, Badin and Tando Mohammad Khan, there are girls' colleges, but no teacher available for science subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. "If there are no teachers, how will the students come?" questions Aziz.

While lots of donations from the World Bank and other institutions are available for the development of education in the rural areas, the lack of proper utilisation has affected such efforts adversely.

After independence in 1947, as many as 11 education policies were introduced by various governments, but not a single one was passed by the parliament and no policy was given a constitutional guarantee.

Aziz says that the head of the education department and the secretary should both be from the education sector, as civil bureaucrats, he claims, do not take much interest in the education sector and do not have the expertise needed to deal with the department in a proper and effective manner. Calling education a national duty, he also opposes the quotas given to elected representatives to appoint teachers.

Sindhi intellectual Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo says that the collapse of education at the primary level is a major reason behind the state in which rural education in general finds itself in today.

He adds that the directorate of education had failed in its duties, including the training of the primary teachers, who lack discipline.

An added hurdle is that of the language barrier. Every rural child has to learn at least three languages at the outset. Urdu and English are taught to students at the primary level in addition to their respective mother tongues.

When a child is taught a third language as their mother tongue at the very first level of schooling, which is the case in the rural areas, it can confuse the minor. "Quality learning suffers with the alien languages from the very first years," he says. Thus, the transition from primary schools in the rural to secondary schools and colleges remains poor. "This is a tragic matter," says Joyo.

Riaz Bhutto, Secretary, Sindh, of the Liberal Forum, sees the remoteness of education in the rural areas and social apathy as big barriers keeping rural students from going on to degree classes. Bhutto, who has personally worked on child enrollment at the primary level, says that, due to various reasons, nearly 75 per cent of the students leave education at the primary level alone. The News
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