pakistan floods rain tents
People from flood-affected areas walk between tents in a relief camp, in Chachro near Tharparkar, a district of southern Sindh province, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Image Credit: AP

Karachi: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been informed that buildings of up to 47 per cent of a total of 44,219 government-run schools in Sindh have been either partially damaged or completely destroyed due to recent floods and heavy monsoon rains.

The information to this effect was passed on to UNICEF as its delegation held talks with educational authorities in Sindh to assess the needs of the province to resume school education in the flood-affected parts of the province.

The UNICEF delegation was informed that an initial survey by the education officials had revealed that buildings of 7,938 government-run schools in the province had been completely destroyed due to floods. The grave natural calamity has caused partial damage to the buildings of 12,664 schools.

The UNICEF officials acknowledged that the education sector of Sindh had to suffer damages worth $1 billion due to the floods.

Gordon Jenkins, Education Director at the UNICEF’s headquarters, acknowledged that educational authorities of the province had promptly sprung into action for making efforts to revive education in the flood-hit areas as the damage assessment survey was the right step in this regard.

He said that digital learning that was extensively used during the coronavirus emergency for school education could once again be used for the early resumption of schooling of the children in the calamity-hit areas.

Sindh Education Minister, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, said that there was a need to establish 20,000 makeshift classrooms in tents to continue the education of children in the displaced communities.

He said that children for their safety couldn’t be immediately sent back to the school buildings whose structure had been weakened due to floods and rains.

He said that apart from education the issues of nutritional deficiency and psychological trauma suffered by the children had to be taken care of in the disaster-hit areas.

He appealed to the concerned international community to support the Sindh government’s drive to revive schooling after the floods as it alone couldn’t overcome the enormous challenge caused due to massive damage to the academic infrastructure.