Islamabad: As the enrolment of out-of-school children peaks in the federal capital, Asif Ali of Ghouri Town is struggling to admit his two daughters to fourth and sixth grades in the local model...
Islamabad: As the enrolment of out-of-school children peaks in the federal capital, Asif Ali of Ghouri Town is struggling to admit his two daughters to fourth and sixth grades in the local model colleges.
“The principal of Islamabad Model College for Girls, I-8/4, told me his college is running over capacity and therefore, he can’t enrol your daughters,” the distressed BPS-16 government employee told ‘The News’.
Asif’s case is not solitary. Many other residents face a similar situation, these days. Muhammad Zubair, who is seeking the enrolment of his daughter in seventh grade, insisted that favouritism for admissions was rampant in model colleges to the misery of the ‘genuine’ cases.
“I approached the principals of two schools in I-10/4 and I-9/1 but both declined enrolment request citing unavailability of seats as a reason,” he said. An accountant in a private firm, he said the tuition fee of children studying in a private school for six years was no more affordable due to the escalating living costs and therefore, he was looking for their admission in some government school.
The teachers insist many educational institutions overseen by the Federal Directorate of Education in Islamabad have more students than their capacity, leaving lecturers overburdened and quality of education compromised.
Noted among these schools are the Islamabad Model College for Boys G-9/4, Islamabad College for Girls F-6/2, Islamabad Model School for Boys I-9/4, Islamabad Model College for Girls F-6/2, IMCG I-8/4, IMCB G-10/4, ICB G-6/3, IMCG F-10/2, IMCG I-10/4, IMCG F-7/4, and IMCB G-10/4.
The teachers say thousands of additional children seek admission in schools every year but the people at the helm of affairs instead of taking concrete steps to resolve the issue of severe overcrowding are busy with the out-of-school-children campaign.
A teacher of IMCG F-6/2 said handling 75 girls in a class was a herculean task. “I face a lot of stress in my class due to its unreasonably large size, which makes me manage unfocused students most of the time instead of educating them. Proper teaching is impossible as there is so much noise in classrooms,” she said.
The teacher said overcrowded classrooms resulted in ineffective lessons and therefore, most of them ended up frustrated and stressed. She also regretted that three girls used a two-seat bench.
Another teacher posted to IMCG I-10/4 said not only did the class’s size go far beyond the recommended capacity but the classroom was also very small failing teachers to focus on all students as required.
“My grade III students total more than 55, far above the maximum capacity of 40, distracting both them and teachers,” she said complaining about small classrooms and poor ventilation to the misery of students and teachers alike.
Another teacher of IMCG I-8/4 said classrooms in her college had students packed in like sardines. “On average, more than 60 students sit in small rooms each,” she said, adding that overcrowded classrooms cause unhygienic conditions.
She said before enrolling new children in schools, the government should care for those already studying thereby improving learning conditions and facilities. “Schools are not just buildings. Instead, they’re places with a good environment for learning,” she said demanding the immediate construction of rooms in colleges and hiring of new teachers in adequate numbers.