EDUCATION: A NEGLECTED STATE RESPONSIBILITY

MUHAMMAD ASHFAQ
ashfaq8585@hotmail.com

Dec 29 - Jan 04, 2009

Education plays the role of leadership in the society. The function of the educational institutions is to develop the people physical, mentally, psychologically, socially and spiritually. All over the world, universities are cooperating with the industrial and development organizations to produce industrial leaders.

The fundamental reason behind the creation of Pakistan was the name of Islam and the stress which our Holy Quran places on education is not found in the rest of religious holy books. But, unfortunately Quranic injunctions of "Allah Increase My knowledge" and "Read in the Name of Lord Who created" have been totally ignored by almost all past governments and particular by the present one too. There is provision in the present constitution wherein free and compulsory primary education is in one of the principal responsibilities of state.

Over the last sixty years a number of attempts have been made to analyze the educational problems of Pakistan and to devise a proper strategy for following the advice of the founder of nation. Quaid-i-Azam once said about the significance of education as:

           "You know that importance of education and the right type of   education can not be over emphasized….if we are to make real, speedy and substantial progress, we must earnestly tackle this question….Having regard to the modern conditions and vast developments that have taken place all over the world."

As Quaid-i-Azam was keenly interested in education therefore a conference on Pakistan education was held in 1947 under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam and he provided basic guidelines like: education should be inspired by golden principles of Islam, free and compulsory elementary education, and focuses on technical education.

FOCUS OF EDUCATION:

The early focus of education was on:

(a) Ideological basis.
(b) National Unity which still has question mark due to curriculum.
(c) Personality development of an individual.
(d) Social development.
(e) Economic development.
(f) Equality of opportunity for all citizens.
(g) Quality education at different segments of Education.

The following table shows the summarized performance of education of Pakistan:

NUMBER OF MAINSTREAM INSTITUTIONS, ENROLLMENT AND TEACHER BY LEVEL
YEAR ENROLLMENT INSTITUTIONS TEACHERS
2005-06 2006-07 2005-06 2006-07 2005-06 2006-07
Pre-primary 7125447 8322620 - - - -
Primary +Mosque 16834,417 17,043,46 157,526 156,378 443,973 447,890
Middle 5,262,323 5576010 39370 42916 310753 334554
High 2133008 2244147 22909 25177 362188 390612
Inter 853535 9077704 2996 3332 69425 73273
Degree Colleges 325,993 324,9887 1,135 1,371 20,568 23,676
Universities 424,012 424,271 111 113 37,509 37,536
Total 32,968,735 34,843,200 224,047 231,289 1,244,416 1,307,541
Source: Pakistan Economic Survey 2007-08


UNIVERSITIES AND DEGREE AWARDING INSTITUTIONS
  PUBLIC PRIVATE TOTAL
Federal Area 11 05 16
Punjab 19 10 29
Sindh 10 19 29
NWFP 08 10 18
Balochsitan 03 01 04
Total 53 43 96
Source: Pakistan Education & School Atlas, Planning commission 2002

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION:

Beside the stress of founder of Pakistan on education, our constitution has also various provisions about the right of quality education of every individual and very few people know that the right to primary education is one of the fundamental rights written in the constitution of 1973 but unfortunately Pakistani Nation remained deprived of it even after sixty long years.

PAKISTAN’S GLOBAL RANKING FOR PROMOTION OF EDUCATION:

The most concerning thing for Pakistan is that it has been placed at 135th in terms of public investment in education out of 200 countries. On the index of availability of scientist and engineers, Pakistan ranked 61 out of 93 countries. As far as comparison with Muslim countries concerned, Pakistan stands 31 out of 35 among Muslim countries in literacy rate. The above data obviously show the very low literacy rate even if we compare Pakistan with Muslim countries.

SEGMENTS OF EDUCATION:

Pakistani education system is mainly divided into five levels: Primary (from grade one through five); Middle (From grade six through eight); High (From grades nine and ten); intermediate (grade eleven and twelve) and University programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees.

In Pakistan, all academic educational institutions are the responsibility of the    provincial government. The Federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research.

EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

Educational Oversight Federal Ministry of Education
Provincial Ministry of Education
National Education Budget Rs. 9556.44 million (2007)
Primary Languages Urdu and English
Literacy (2007)

Men
Women

56%

63%
36%

Enrollment

Primary
Secondary
Post-secondary

 

87.3%
44%
4.6%

Source: www.google.com.pk/wikipedia

HEC CONTRIBUTIONS AND ITS DEPRESSION:

Since the formation of HEC in 2002, the HEC has made remarkable progress, implementing the much needed reforms like setting of stringent requirements for the appointment and promotion of faculty members, quality control of PhD programmes, establishment of a digital library providing free access to 23000 international journals to all the public sector universities.

It is only due to introduction of a foreign faculty hiring programme that brain drain has been converted into brain gain. The above mentioned major steps have been implemented and they are changing the landscape of our higher education to the benefits of the nation.

Demand for higher education is rising rapidly, compounding the challenges for the countries that hope to improve quality, reduce public cost, and increase excess to all state. Keeping in view these requirements in mind HEC took the initative to establish nine engineering universities under the foreign collaboration for engineering vision 2030 but unfortunately due to stepmother attitude of the present democratic government HEC has planned to defer nine foreign universities project mainly because non availability of funds from Islamabad.

The government had decided to establish engineering, science and technology universities in Pakistan where rectors, curriculum and all the faculty members were decided to be foreign to fulfill the engineering vision 2030. For this, agreement had been signed with Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Japan, China, Sweden and South Korea to achieve the goals in the realm of science and technology which now seems in doldrums.

Present government formed a committee to review the above mentioned nine universities HEC plan. It consulted with HEC and recommended that it was very difficult for the government to fund such projects and asked the HEC to cut the financial size which means to stop every thing.

EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN:

In past, Pakistan’s educational sector appears to have faced a more stringent resource constraints than most other South Asian countries which can be viewed from the table.

EDUCATIONAL BUDGET: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
AREA INDIA PAKISTAN BANGLA-DESH NEPAL SRI LANKA BHUTAN MALDIVES SOUTH ASIA (AVG) DEVELOP-ING COUNT-RIES
Public Expenditure On Education % of GNP 3.2 2.4 2.2 3.2 3.4 4.1 6.4 3.2 3.8
Source: Mehboob ul Haq, 2001


Year 1991 1995 2000 2001 2003
%of GNP 2.1 2.4 2.1 2.3 <>

Educational Budget as % of GNP of Pakistan