SUKKUR:11 May:The Sindh government often blows its own trumpet about having done a lot on improving the education sector, but the conditions of public schools portray quite a different picture. One such example is the Government Elementary School in Garam Godi, Sukkur, which has been running without electricity for more than three months.
The temperature in Sukkur and the surrounding areas is 45 degree Celsius and due to the power outage at the school, it is becoming unbearable for many students to attend school in the sizzling heat. Majority of the students have chosen to stay home and because of the low attendance, the teachers also leave the school early.
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During a tour of the school recently, most of the classrooms could be seen empty, while few students were seen studying in the school’s corridor. In some classes there were six to eight students, even though enrolment of students in these classes is 25 to 30.
The principal, Aijaz Ali Langah, told The Express Tribune that the school’s electricity bill is paid after every three months, adding that the school does not have much funds to pay exorbitant electricity bills. Speaking about the reason for the power outage, Langah said that Sukkur Electric Power Company (SPECO) authorities have dismounted the transformer of the area due to outstanding dues against the residents. He added that the school also falls under that area and therefore the school too is deprived of electricity.
Langah further said that temperature in Sukkur remains between 45 to 47 degrees Celsius during summers and it is impossible for the students to bear the heat and study without electricity. He expressed his concern that a majority of the students remain absent due to this reason, while those who attend the school half-heartedly, go back to their homes during the break time. He said that Elementary District Officer Nasim Lakho’s office is situated on the school premises and they had written many letters to the SEPCO regarding the issue, but it was of no use.
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Complaining about the hot weather, a class five student, Muhammad Hanif, said they have to sit in the classrooms without electricity. He added that drinking water is also unavailable and the students have to bring water from their homes.
Similarly, Amna from class three, said most of her class fellows remain absent due to the heat. Many other students complained about the electricity problem and demanded the authorities to take necessary steps for restoration of electricity.
A staff member of district officer’s office, requesting anonymity, claimed that usually even the district officer remains out of office as there is no electricity. According to him, students are the ones who are suffering the most and they have to sit in classrooms without electricity for hours. Major problems can be solved by taking sincere efforts but our officers are least interested, he added.
On contact, Lakho refused to comment on the problem that the school is facing, while the school education director Zainab Mangi was also not available for comments.Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2016.
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