Contrary to what many people would have us believe, the state of education in Larkana is not all that dismal. Yes, there is always scope for further improvement, but to write off the district as a basket case is to ignore the reality on the ground. Reporters tend to use one specific case to paint sweeping generalisations of a larger area. To set the record straight, let’s take a look at some official figures. From 1947 to 2008 (over six decades), there was only one degree college for girls in all of the Larkana district. However, since 2008 — in the space of one decade — four new colleges for girls have been established in the district. The progress has been significant and even the World Bank has endorsed the PPP government’s efforts in this regard. For example, in the last 10 years, at least 200 shelter less schools have been built in the district, more than 300 additional classrooms have been constructed and more than more 500 schools and colleges have been refurbished so as to provide them with all the necessary facilities that were missing from their premises earlier. Furthermore, according to the reputed education NGO Alif Ailaan’s annual rankings for 2016, Larkana ranked fourth in all of Sindh. This is commendable given that in such rankings Sindh is usually dominated by the districts in Karachi. More recently, in the past 18 months, according to official figures, 69 schools in the district which were not functional have been made operational. In August 2016, a survey was conducted which found that 94 schools in the district were permanently closed. No classes were being held, and no children were attending the school. The local education department got to work and made almost three-fourths of these schools operational. Efforts to get the rest up and running again are underway. Since 2008 — in the space of one decade — four new colleges for girls have been established in the district In March 2018, an official survey of 1,065 primary schools was undertaken in the district. Over 92 per cent of these schools were physically visited by Education Department staff and it was found that seven in every ten schools in the district were operational. Over 37 percent had no electricity, a quarter had no drinking water while around 15 percent had no toilets. While, these proportions may seem unacceptable, the fact remains that significant progress in improving the district’s education system has been made and this work is ongoing. It will continue until the district is on par with the most educationally advanced districts of the country. And this is not because it is the home district of those who head the PPP, but because the government seems committed to providing quality education and learning to students all across the province, regardless of where they or their school may be located. The writer is freelance journalist Published in Daily Times, May 18th 2018.