A large number of public schools in Punjab continue to lack basic sanitation facilities, according to the provincial government’s first quarterly ranking for 2018-19. The shortages include a lack of toilets, as well as general hygiene of schools across 36 districts of the province.

Of the 36 districts of the province, 11 districts failed to achieve the targets for the availability of toilets set by the Punjab government for the quarter. These include Multan, Nankana Sahib, Hafizabad, Gujranwala, Jhelum, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sheikhupura, Gujrat, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi and Rajanpur.

For school hygiene, only eight of the 36 districts could be graded up to the mark as specified by the provincial government’s targets. These include Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Dera Ghazi Khan, Lodhran, Bahawalpur, Vehari, Bahawalnagar and Nankana Sahib.

The results are part of provincial government’s quarterly look at the performance of public schools in Punjab and gauges student attendance and retention, teacher presence, functioning facilities in schools, literacy and numeracy indicators based on standard tests. The districts and divisions are also ranked based on their performance throughout the quarter.

In this quarter’s ranking, a total of 13 districts showed positive trend and improved their positions compared to the last quarter, whereas four districts retained their positions. On the other hand, 19 districts dropped in ranking compared to previous quarter.

Overall, Jhang district showed the best overall improvement and climbed 20 positions, followed by Mandi Bahauddin which went up 15 positions. Nankana Sahib, Sialkot and Narowal showed the most decline from their previous positions. Nankana Sahib dropped 11 positions, Sialkot 12 and Narowal 16 positions, respectively.

Okara district retained its first position, while Pakpattan climbed one position to become the second best school district. Bhakkar dropped one spot from the previous quarter and was placed third in the overall ranking. The bottom five districts include Sheikhupura, Rawalpindi, Vehari, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan.

Between the nine operational divisions of Punjab, Sahiwal was at the top, while Lahore division was at the bottom.

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