A staff member sanitizes the hands of the students arriving at a school in Karachi on August 30, 2021, after the government reopened educational institutions. Image Credit: AFP

Karachi: The Sindh government’s Education Department has decided to close down at least 7,000 schools in the province as they have become non-feasible.

Sindh Education Minister, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, was responding to the point of order raised in the Sindh Assembly by Leader of Opposition, Haleem Adil Shaikh.

The Education Minister informed the House that these 7,000 government-run schools were either present in such areas where there was no requirement of any additional educational institution or their buildings are not feasible to impart education in a proper manner.

It was unfortunate that since the creation of Pakistan, no law of the land provided a description as what bare minimum facilities should be to be a feasible school building, he said.

He said that in the past, an ill-advised policy had been adopted to establish one-room primary schools as a single room was not sufficient to house students of five classes at a time.

He said that most of the non-viable schools had been established during the regime of former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim so much so that 64 schools had been established in a single village.

He told the house that buildings of non-viable schools in rural areas were mostly used to house livestock or as sitting areas of the feudal landlords.

The Education Minister said that closure of these non-viable schools would lessen the unnecessary burden on the national exchequer.

He informed the concerned lawmakers that recommendation would be sent to the Sindh Health Department to covert these buildings into basic health units.

Earlier, speaking on his point of order, the Opposition Leader sought explanation from the government on the reports that 10,000 schools were being closed down in Sindh.

He said that such a large scale closure of schools was not feasible when over six million children were not enrolled in Sindh to get education.

He sought information from the government as what action had been taken against the officials who had established these unnecessary schools in Sindh.