Vacant posts, low student-teacher attendance, transparency, on-college facilities for students and teachers identified as key issues
LAHORE, May 26, 2010: More than one-third of lecturers posts are vacant in 106 boys colleges monitored nationwide during April 2010, says the FAFEN Education Institution Monitor released here Wednesday.
Sindh has the highest percentage of vacant posts (41 percent), followed by Punjab (40 percent), Balochistan (35 percent) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (24 percent). Only 1.4 percent non-teaching vacancies are vacant in the visited institutions.
According to FAFEN Monitor — part of FAFEN’s nationwide initiative to monitor governance processes under its Democratic Governance Program, only half or fewer of hired lecturers in one fifth of the visited colleges were present on the day FAFEN conducted its assessment across the country.
FAFEN Education Institution Monitor is based on data gathered from 106 boys colleges across the country during April 2010. FAFEN Governance Monitors visited 39 colleges in 26 districts of Punjab, 26 colleges in 19 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 colleges in 10 districts of Balochistan, 29 colleges in 18 districts of Sindh and 1 college in Islamabad Capital Territory.
Only one lecturer is available for an average of 37 students across the country. The student-lecturer ratio appeared to be lowest in Punjab (32:1) and highest in Sindh (46:1). In Balochistan, one lecturer is available for an average of 34 students. The student per lecturer population stands at 37 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Thirty-six boys colleges (38 percent or more than one-third) had less than 75 percent of attendance of lecturers on the day of FAFEN monitoring. Almost half of the boys colleges monitored in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (12 out of 25) and Balochistan (3 out of 7) had less than 75 percent of appointed lecturers present on the day of monitoring. In more than one-sixth (17.9 percent, or 17 out of 95) of monitored colleges, lecturer attendance was 50 percent or worse.
There were 23 boys colleges, a little less than one-fourth of total observed colleges, across the country, where 100 percent of lecturers were present on the day of FAFEN monitoring.
Two-thirds of boys colleges monitored during April 2010 recorded a very low student attendance. The low attendance, however, may have been due to examinations. As many as 50 of 77 boys colleges that provided attendance data to FAFEN monitors had less than 75 percent student attendance.
The government is spending an average of Rs. 18,815 per student per year, based on budgetary data provided by 55 of 106 boys colleges monitored across the country. The rest of the colleges either did not have the data or refused to share it with FAFEN. The highest spending per year per student is in Sindh at Rs. 27,487, while the lowest is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Rs. 12,881 per student. Balochistan is spending Rs. 14,425 per student, while Punjab spends Rs. 17,042 per student per year.
FAFEN documented serious issues of transparency in the boys colleges monitored during April 2010. Administration of 50 colleges across the country refused to share information about budgetary spending. As many as 21 colleges denied information on sanctioned posts. The administration of various colleges did not share ordinary information like number of students enrolled and attendance of non-teaching staff.
Buildings, facilities and provisions in boys colleges monitored during April 2010 are generally in need of improvement, although a majority of colleges meets bare minimum standards for basic infrastructure and facilities in reasonable conditions.
An average of 76 students share a classroom in Punjab, 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 78 in Balochistan and 100 in Sindh. The average of students per boys college classroom is 72 students.
An average of 151 students of boys colleges across the country have to use one latrine/toilet – 147 students per latrine in Punjab, 143 students per latrine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 330 students per latrine in Balochistan and 146 students per latrine in Sindh.
Boys colleges in Balochistan were observed to be in the worst conditions vis-à-vis infrastructure and facilities, followed by colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Colleges in Punjab and Sindh, although better in relative terms, are also generally in similar conditions, while the sample in Islamabad is too small to draw any conclusions.
FAFEN is a network of 35 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability. For more information please visit www.fafen.org.