CHINIOT - As the enrollment in public sector schools registered a 10 percent increase over the last year, these schools are now faced with acute shortage of classrooms and other facilities.

There are 659 government primary, elementary, secondary and higher secondary schools which witnessed increase in the enrollment this year but the few classrooms do not suffice. The Punjab government has announced various incentives for educating the new generation including free textbooks, free education and stipend to girl students from class VI to X at Rs1,000 per student per month. These incentives have witnessed certain increase in the enrollment in government schools over a year. However, the schools already lack facilities like classrooms and it has become difficult for them to accommodate the new students.

In May 2016, there were 162,645 students enrolled in govt schools from class Nursery to XII out of which 92,330 or 57% were boys and 70,315 or 43% were the girls. After one year in May 2017 before the summer vacation, the total enrollment in these schools rose to 178,760 with increase of 16,115 students. Out of them, 101,723 or 56% are boys and 77,037 or 44% girls.

Although the increase is termed a success of the efforts of education department to get students to govt schools, these schools have fallen short of the facilities like classrooms and furniture etc.

Nayla Huma, in-charge headmistress of Govt Madrassa Tul Binat High School, said that the enrolment in the school had risen to 2,410 students and 80-100 students are packed in each class as they are falling short of classrooms.

She added that the demand of new classrooms has been sent to the education sector high-ups. Similarly, the in-charge of Govt. Girls High Schools Satellite Town said that there were only 13 functional class rooms for enrolment of 1030 and five sections were either operating in open or in the corridors.

District Education Authority Chiniot Chief Executive Officer Liaqat Ali Nasir said that the authority was aware of the shortage4 of classrooms in various schools while he had sent the demand for rooms to Punjab government. Moreover, the Chief Minister's programme for additional classrooms will be implemented in near future to bridge the gap, he said.

The schools are also allowed to construct temporary classrooms or sheds with their non-salary funds with approval of school councils to accommodate the students.

DBA Secretary Syed Farman Ali Advocate said that education is the right of each child thus the govt must provide facilities to avail the right. He demanded not only the construction of new rooms in the schools but the establishment of new schools in the wake of increasing population of the district.