Sir: Girls’ education is the cornerstone for the development of a civilised society. If half the population is left uneducated, then that country cannot progress and prosper. In Pakistan, overall education in general, and girls’ education in particular, stands neglected. Curriculum developers are eager to stuff syllabi with every branch of knowledge without caring for the background and psychology of the pupil.
Teachers and teachers’ bodies also cannot be absolved from their share of the deplorable state of affairs in girls’ education. At present, hundreds of girls’ schools remain closed. A majority in the remote areas of Sindh has no access to education. Apart from access, the quality of instruction is another issue — in so-called functional schools, the majority of female teachers hardly take the trouble to teach. Those who teach are poorly educated and trained themselves. Due to parents and society’s traditional opposition to girls’ education, enrolment is low. Owing to child marriages and traditional and religious factors, the dropout ratio among girls is alarmingly highest in rural Sindh.
There is an urgent need on the part of civil society and the government to wake up to this appalling state. A large number of women have reached the assemblies and a good number has succeeded in getting employment in the government and non-governmental and private sectors. They can be real torchbearers and campaigners for girls’ education.