At a time, when the ratio of girls acquiring education is more or less equal to boys, there still are a few underdeveloped areas where schools exist but students are not enrolled for want of secured learning environment and basic facilities, especially in case of girls.

Educational process of children in rural areas starts a bit late and thus girl students reach puberty when they are still in primary grades forcing parents to withdraw them from schools.

Parents are apprehensive in sending their daughters to school where there is no boundary wall, electricity, water, and toilet facility.

In many areas of Umerkot district children travel up to eight kilometres, carrying heavy school bags stuffed with books, lunch boxes and water bottles. They trample fast to reach their school on time. Few fill their bottles from hand pumps on way.

There are total 2,316 schools in Umerkot district where 82,750 boys and 47,000 girls are enrolled, revealed a census 2009-10 undertaken by the Sindh Education Management Information System in collaboration with the Reform Unit of Education Department. There is one elementary, 463 primary, 14 middle, 14 secondary and four higher secondary schools for boys as against one elementary, 427 primary, 12 middle, 11 secondary and two higher secondary schools for girls.

Some 2,304 schools out of total 2,316 have no science laboratory, 2,301 are without any library, 2,111 sans power supply, 2,014 lack playground, 1,193 without boundary walls and 990 bereft of any toilets.

RANA MALHI,

Umerkot, May 2.