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Sombre picture of basic education in Pakistan

International Studies revealed that people are the real wealth of nations and education enables them to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives. There is broad agreement, backed through research findings, that education improves people’s ability to make informed decisions, be better parents, sustain a livelihood, adopt latest technologies, cope with shocks, and be responsible citizens and effective stewards of the natural environment. The World Bank has launched an ambitious new Learning Target, which aims to cut by at least half the worldwide rate of Learning Poverty by 2030. World community has agreed that education matters, however development is defined, education is at its core. Now the world has accepted that everyone has a right to education. Yet in the 21st century millions of young people and adults have no or very limited learning opportunities. Rather than liberating the human spirit and fostering individuals’ and societies’ development, far too often and in far too many places education systems entrench inequalities and are more concerned with inculcating obedience than with nurturing democratic participation. Statistics also showed that 53 percent of children in low and middle-income countries cannot read and understand a simple story by the time they reach the end of primary school.res2pic1

In poor states, the level is as high as 80 percent. Such high levels of learning poverty are a warning sign that all global educational and other related sustainable development goals are in jeopardy.

Studies also identified that worldwide economic growth remains sluggish despite signs of recovery from the present economic crisis, the shortage of the right skills in the workforce has taken on a new urgency in the globe. The developing countries have also facing educational challenges.

According to the World Bank (WB) total 75 percent of children in Pakistan, in late primary stage, are not proficient in reading. Expenditures on the primary education of each child in Pakistan are $467, which are 47.6 percent below average for South Asia and 43.9 percent below average for lower middle-income countries. The Government of Pakistan statistics showed that pre-primary education level, an increase of 7.3 percent is observed in pre-primary enrolment which went up to 12,273.1 thousand in FY2018 as against to 11,436.6 thousand in FY2017. Enrolment was estimated to increase further by 6.4 percent i.e. from 12,273.1 thousand to 13,063.3 thousand in FY2019. Moreover, in 2017-18, there were a total of 172.2 thousand primary functioning primary schools, with 519.0 thousand teachers in Pakistan. These schools had an overall enrollment of 22.9 million students a increase of 5.5 percent over the previous year. This enrollment was projected to increase to 23.9 million in 2018-19.

Truly speaking, our purchasing power has a serious impact on our child’s life. Good grades in O and A-levels can take him to foreign universities. Bad ones will be sufficient to land him in a fine local university. But if you don’t have the money, the Government of Pakistan offers its hapless, less-privileged masses, ration-quality education at public schools. Unluckily education is the buzz-word around which our concerns and conversations revolve incessantly. We are either ‘concerned’ about the overall condition and the paltry percentage of GDP our Government of Pakistan spends on educating. At private schools the more money one is willing to spend, the better brand of education one will get.


It is also recorded that the education provided in Pakistani schools cannot help students develop knowledge and skills unless the issues related to all reform efforts are addressed and removed in school education system. Pakistan is a developing country and the importance to make its education system effective and efficient becomes more prominent for the overall development of the country. The necessary first step to progress is a positive mindset. The need is to evaluate our education efforts and keep improving the provisions at all levels of schooling in order to have an effective school education. Such efforts may help realize the right to education of all children. In last, the middle-class suffers the most in the prevailing situation of education. They strive, they struggle, they strive more, and they struggle some more. And still they are part of the zero-sum game.

Number Of Enrolment By Level In Pakistan ( Thousands)
Years Pre-Primary Primary Middle High Higher Sec./ Inter Degree Colleges Technical & Vocational Institutes Universities Total
2012-13 9284.3 18790.4 6188.0 2898.1 1400.0 641.5 302.2 1594.6 41099.1
2013-14 9267.7 19441.1 6460.8 3109.0 1233.7 674.5 308.6 1594.6 42090.0
2014-15 9589.2 19846.8 6582.2 3500.7 1665.5 1144.8 319.9 1299.2 43948.3
2015-16 9791.7 21550.6 6922.3 3652.5 1698.0 937.1 315.2 1355.6 46223.0
2016-17 11436.6 21686.5 6996.0 3583.1 1594.9 956.4 344.8 1463.3 48061.6
2017-18 12273.1 22885.9 7342.7 3850.3 1751.7 503.9 433.2 1575.8 50616.5
2018-19 13063.3 23883.6 7616.8 4103.4 1839.7 482.2 470.8 1572.1 53031.9

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