DERA GHAZI KHAN: Residents of KohSulemantehsil in Dera Ghazi Khan have urged Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz to address the dire state of the education department in their area.

The department’s unwieldy management structure and lack of resources have caused a severe administrative crisis, affecting the educational and infrastructural conditions of schools in the tehsil.

Dawn learned that unlike other settled areas in the district where two deputy district education officers (DDEOs), Koh Suleman tehsil has only one male and one female DDEOs, without a permanent office or vehicles, despite its vast and hilly terrain of 80 kilometre radius.

Initially, they were ordered to establish an office in Dera Ghazi Khan, which was later changed to Taunsa city. This has led to a shortage of teachers, with only 222 female teachers and 481 male teachers posted against the sanctioned strength of 491 and 1,354, respectively.

Residents say many teachers have got transfer orders due to travel difficulties, and existing teachers often fail to maintain regular attendance.

The shortage of staff is not the only problem as the situation is further exacerbated by the lack of infrastructure, with 36 schools having no rooms beyond four walls, and 41 boys’ schools and 16 girls’ schools without appointed teachers.

The residents said they oppose the privatisation of schools, adding that it will lead to the selling of schools under the guise of privatization.

When contacted, Education Chief Executive Officer Abdul Rehman acknowledged the issues, saying that teacher recruitment has been closed for seven years, and many appointed teachers have been transferred to settled areas using political influence.

He said the issue can be resolved with new recruitment with incentives to attract teachers to the area.

He said the department has made repeated requests for vehicles for education officers to inspect schools in the far-flung areas of Koh Suleman.

The residents demanded that the government revamp the education department, provide basic necessities like roads, drinking water, and functional health facilities, and address the severe administrative crisis in the education sector in Koh Sulaiman.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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