Every year in the month of June, chief minister of Sindh proudly announces billions of rupees for Education, yet education remains the worst problem of Sindh. Somethings just don’t add up. With billions of rupees flying towards education, the literacy rate in province remains 48% lurking behind Kpk and Punjab, but let’s leave it there. In Sindh out of 12 million children, 67% are wandering the streets than to be in school. 52 percent of these out of school children are girls. Meanwhile, 47 percent of government primary schools have to get by with only one teacher. Along with this, 50 percent of children enrolled in primary schools in Sindh drop out before finishing their primary schooling. So much for fundamental right of education. But let’s leave it there. According to survey published by AlifAilaan, 58% of schools in Sindh have no electricity, that’s WAPDA’s FAULT! 45.4% of schools have no drinking water (that’s why we are building dams, no?) and 39.1% have no toilets, huge percentage of schools which have, only have one, (what are huge barren lands for?). 51.4% of schools have no boundary wall at all, Sindh government took the phrase a little too seriously “Education for all” Let’s leave it here too. Does that all add up? If you ask government everything is justifiable, all the money allocated was properly spent, then why doesn’t it add up? Where’s all the money going? Education sector is Sindh is the only industry in a world, where the consumer and company both are in losses, I am not talking about private schools, which is another flow on its own. The company being the government, consumers being students in government colleges and product being the education. The company spends billions of rupees and return on investment is rather negligible, and consumers are not getting what they asked for. The pipe is cracked somewhere in between. Let’s spare Sindh government for once and not talk about Thar or the remote areas, take for example a city of Larkana, one of the most important city in political field of Sindh and Perhaps Pakistan, the most rapidly growing urban centre of Sindh has 52.73 education score, 34.81 learning score, 44.58 retention score. These three indicators screams the anomalies behind huge investment no profit dilemma, to reinforce my point,a total of 34872 candidates appeared in intermediate papers from all the groups i-e pre-engineering, pre-medical, humanities and commerce out of which 26955 passed, which makes the passing ratio of 77.2%, impressive, right? Align the passing ratio and facts above, do these add up? You can see my concern. A few months back before the results were being compiled in BISE office inlarkana I happen to visit there with one of my friend, which should remain anonymous, knew a clerk, working in some secret department, came and met us, we asked ‘Kiya rate chalrahahai?’ he smiled and gave us a list of rates like a banker convincing you about your investment plan. If you pay 50 thousand, you can get A-1, if you pay one lac, you can get a position, the higher the merit you want the higher the rates. There is a condition like an asterisk at the end of investment policy, that no matter how much you pay, if someone pays more he gets to reap the benefits. So if you have paid for 2nd position and someone after you paid more, you will automatically be given third position, so convenient and simple. What amazed me was that this has been a framework for an organization known as BISE-Larkana since many years, and there was nothing wrong with it, no one was ashamed. No one cared. Billions of rupees both from government and students (who are paying heavy amounts for passing or good merit) are drained through pipes into pockets of engineers supervising infrastructure, controller of exams, administrators of the schools, almost every person in charge of executing. Above was just an example. Now you know why this is the billion dollar industry and zero profits. As much as I admire the steps taken by new education minister Sardar shah, where he enrolled his own daughter into government school, just to make a good example, where he visited government schools and held the whip, I do not believe it makes a lot of difference. Many of these Nayak-Styled steps have short life, they vanish soon without making much impact and the person in secret department gets richer. And what we get is statistics telling us how much government has spent on the education in past year. There are three ways to change something, one’the will’, second ‘the plan’, and third ‘the execution’, I know you might not agree with everything I have to say, and Mr. Minister may deny, as they always have, but I see Sindh’s new minister have the will, and I am sure he’s devising some plan to solve the problems. They say the “first step in solving the problem is recognizing there is one”. There’s one problem recognized for you, and the best thing is solving it might solve almost every problem. The writer is a freelance journalist, currently working as Media Coordinator at Ministry of Planning and Development, Sindh. She can be reached at Meher.firstname.lastname@example.org. Published in Daily Times, December 29th 2018.