The enrolment of students in district municipal corporation (DMC) schools in Lyari has surged for the new academic session.
The enrolment of students has exceeded the 12,000 mark in the first two months of the academic year, which started in mid-April, whereas in 2016 the enrolment of students in 52 schools of Lyari zone from class one to nine was around 8,632.
Reforms such as free education, teachers attendance, parent-teacher meetings, orientation of new students and activities such as celebration of holidays like mother’s day, father’s day, art and colour day and stipulated sports timings during school hours has resulted in creating interest among the children of Lyari to attend school, according to students.
Deputy Lyari Zone Education Director Asma Ayaz told The Express Tribune that in more than eight schools the intake of students has been closed as there are no vacancies, while the vacancies in the remaining schools are quickly filling up. Government-run schools are often plagued with low enrolment.
“In the first two months of the new academic session more than 650 students have been enrolled in the science section after science laboratories in 10 different higher secondary schools have been made functional with the help of the Edhi Foundation at a cost of Rs5 million,” she said, adding that only 70 students were enrolled in science subjects in Lyari’s entire DMC school system last year due to the unavailability of laboratory facilities. According to her, almost 100 volunteer teachers have been hired from Lyari to teach science subjects without any stipend.
The encouragement of extracurricular activities and minor reforms are a small step towards creating awareness about education and have helped attract children to attend schools, which would further improve the literacy rate in the area said headmistress of one of the schools in Lyari, Shakeela Hashim.
“Apart from reforms, the recent improvement of the law and order situation and opening of medical colleges and universities in the area have also contributed to the rise of enrolment in different schools in Lyari,” she said, adding that education is the only hope for residents of Lyari to change their existing conditions.
Edhi Foundation head Faisal Edhi, who has been active in bringing reforms with the help of education department and DMC schools, termed the recent surge in enrolment an ‘educational revolution’. “It’s our dream that no child from Lyari is out of school due to poverty,” he said.
“The area remained one of the worst affected areas due to gang wars for years and had remained enveloped in turmoil,” said social worker Raheem Baloch. He remarked that a literate population can only sustain long-lasting peace in the area and the recent awareness created among the youth of Lyari for education may help build a durable society in coming years.
Article Source: The Express Tribune
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