Status of education in Lahore `declining`
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By Our Staff Reporter | 9/4/2015 12:00:00 AM
LAHORE: Learning outcome of public schools` students in Lahore is declining fast, while of those in an otherwise `backward` district of Rajanpur is rising for the past two years.

Lahore students` performance has dipped from 42 points in 2012 to 40 in 2013 and 2014, while that of Rajanpur students` improved from 46 to 52 points in 2014.

This was revealed in Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) study, based on data compiled by the Punjab Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU) and Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) at the second stock take meeting on the ranking of Lahore provincial constituencies in terms of educational performance.

The meeting was attended by PML-N women MPAs, PPP and MQM political workers, businesscommunity members and media persons.

Giving a presentation about the status of education in Lahore, I-SAPS senior research fellow Ahmad Ali said there were 127 schools operating in dangerous buildings, including 107 functioning in partially-dangerous buildings.

According to estimates, he said there were 2.649 million children in 5-16 year age group in 2012, while this number would rose to 3.698 million in 2018. At present, he said, some 290,000 children in 5-16 year age group in Lahore were out of school that constituted 33 percent of the school-age children.

In order to accommodate this school-age cohort, he said, the government needed to construct 4,782 rooms and 38 new schools in Lahore. He stressed the teachers` rationalisation was very important as the data showed that in someschools one teacher was available for 14 or less number of students, while in many others the ratio was up to 1-100.

Revealing the ranking of provincial constituencies in terms of education, Mr Ali said the Punjab Assembly constituency, PP-154, represented by PML-N`s Syed Zaeem Husain Qadri stood at the top with 67.34 education score.

The score was calculated on the basis of teachers and students` attendance, Class-V, Class-VIII and matriculation results, as well as cleanliness of students and the schools.

The constituency, PP-153, represented by PML-N`s Ramzan Siddique Bhatti, stood second with 66.82 score, while PP-155, represented by PML-N`s Mian Naseer Ahmad, third with 66.07 score.

PP-150, represented by PML-N`s Mian Marghoob Ahmad, is at the lowest amongst all provincial constituencies with 59.81 educationalscore. Interestingly, Punjab education minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan`s PP-149 ranked 16th out of 25 constituencies in Lahore with 62.34 score.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who has launched educational emergency in the whole province, could earn 65.40 educational score and stood sixth in the ranking, while former education minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman`s PP-141 stood fifth with 65.70.

Different political parties` representatives, intellectuals and media persons agreed that the society as a whole should come forward to persuade the government to make education a priority and improve indicators that were showing poor performance.

They stressed that the teachers` capacity building should be ensured for imparting quality education in the public schools so that people`s confidence in state-run schools could be restored.