IDPS' SETTLEMENTS IMPINGE ON EDUCATION RIGHTS

ABDUL GHANI SOOMRO
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Sep 13 - 26, 2010

State of public sector institutes is already bad in Sindh. Now the situation has been worst since last four months as all schools, colleges and technical institutes have been made as camps for internally displaced people.

It is amazing that whenever any bad situation happens in Sindh province, government of Sindh, especially ministry of education hands over schools, colleges, and technical institutes to affected people showing sympathy to them. Sindh chief minister and education minister are well aware about the affairs of education particularly quality of education in public sector institutes. If we look at an academic calendar, at least six months are allowed for vacation and holidays, protest, and strikes of teachers, political strikes, and now the remaining six months are for IDPs.

It is not understandable to any sensible person that why government always happily does this as a token of sympathy.

Though on the one hand education is given the top-priority in people's government, yet on the other hand they have closed down all doors of education in Sindh just to facilitate flood-affected people of Sindh. These camps are not only in flood-hit areas but across the Sindh all government educational institutes are completely closed for children. It is shameless, senseless, and brutal act on the part of government to snatch the right of education from children of Sindh on this baseless pretext to provide shelter to the IDPs.

We wonder to see the wit and wisdom of Sindh government that even the flood-affected people's kids don't acquire education in the same institutes where they have been staying for long. It is a double crime to snatch the right of education from enrolled students and not to allow affected children to study in the same schools, colleges, and technical institutes.

This pathetic condition has been prevailing in Sindh since the last four months, but neither any official nor any politician has given statement to re-open the schools and provide education to future of Sindh. But, why the officials (bureaucrats) and politicians should think about the poor children whereas their own kids are studying in grammar schools, cadet colleges, and other elite private schools where there is no strike, no IDPs are allowed nor they are disturbed for any other way. Who should the common people ask to set the things right? Should we knock the doors of judiciary or leaders of political parties? We are at the crossroads, no way appears, nor we find any solution except this to appeal government functionaries, political parties, members of civil society, media personnel to listen to the voice of downtrodden people of Sindh and give them right to acquire education.

We appeal the government to get vacated the schools, colleges and technical institutes across the Sindh without further delay from flood affected people and they may be given other alternatives to stay comfortably. This will be beneficial even for flood-affected people that their kids may continue their education and equip themselves with the ornament of education, which will open new ways and means for them. I also request all other intellectuals, educationists, members of civil society, media, lawyers and gentry to urge the government and highlight this issue that everybody may realise the educational loss to youth of Sindh. I hope, if we all unite and raise the voice against this injustice, it will restore the right of education to youths of Sindh.

The writer is lecturer IBA-Sukkur.