150 primary schools closed due to ghost teachers in Johi

Johi, Sindh: About 150 primary schools in Taluka Johi, mostly girls’ schools, have been virtually closed due to ghost teachers, while education department officials hardly pay visit to this neglected rural area.

Ex-Nazim Allahyar Rodnani, Rasheed Laghari, Yunus Solangi and other social workers said education in Johi and surrounding villages is on decline due to corruption and mismanagement in education department. They said the SDO Education does not attend his office regularly and the office is being run by a peon. They said more than 150 primary schools of Katcho areas have been virtually closed due to ghost teachers, who do not attend their schools in return of 50percent of their salary to their officers as bribe. This ghost teacher system in the area is called ‘teachers’ visa’.

They said when on the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan action was taken against the ghost schools, many schools in rural areas were reopened; however, after a few weeks when the judicial teams stopped their raids these schools again went closed.

They said millions of rupees meant for purchase of school furniture as well as repair funds have been misappropriated by corrupt officials including headmasters. They said due to closure of schools children are being engaged by their families in child labour jobs, as they think it is better that their children do some work instead of loitering in streets.

The social leaders demanded of the caretaker setup to take notice of the closed schools and Taluka Johi and ensure their reopening on urgent basis.