IMPORTANCE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
S.M. ABBAS ZAIDI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Apr 27 - May 10, 2009
Education plays a vital role in human resource development. It raises the productivity and efficiency of individuals and thus produces skilled manpower that is capable of leading the economy towards the path of sustainable economic development. Like many other developing countries, in Pakistan also the condition of education sector is not very encouraging.
The low enrollment rates at the primary level, wide disparities between regions and gender, lack of trained teachers, deficiency of proper teaching materials, and poor physical infrastructure of schools indicate the poor performance of this sector.
Three out of five persons in Pakistan can not read and write. In world literacy chart Pakistan holds 132nd position. The children population of less than 18 years of age in Pakistan is 70 million. As many as 20.60 million of less than 5 years and almost 20.30 million of below 18 year age do not go to schools. The total strength of schools in Pakistan is 2,60,0095 out of which 1, 44,724 are in the public sector. The total strength in these schools consists of 30.33 million children. The number of primary schools in Pakistan does not exceed beyond 1,60,000, where capacity for admission is minimal.
Education can play a crucial role in the economic development of a country by meeting requirement of human resources. Due to the low level of education among the labor force in developing countries like Pakistan, its workforce's efficiency and productivity is also low particularly in primary sector of the economy.
The quality of the labor force is a very important consideration, when we look at the human resource development in a country. This is influenced by the development of education and training and the availability of professionals and facilities like doctors, teachers, hospitals, schools, and colleges etc. In terms of quantity, this is very low in comparison to those who complete secondary and higher secondary education.
In addition to quantitative expansion of tertiary and professional education, one of the important tasks of education is to upgrade the quality of both instruction and output at the secondary and higher stages of education. Though, it is not an easy task through formal system alone. Research evidences show that continuing education can improve work efficiency and productivity, and, thereby, contribute to economic growth.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN PAKISTAN (NO'S IN '000') NO. OF TEACHERS IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS NO. OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS ENROLLMENT IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS YEARS TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL 2000-01 408.9 147.7 14105 2001-02 413.9 149.1 14560 2002-03 433.5 150.8 15094 2003-04 432.2 155 16207 2004-05 450.1 157.2 17258 2005-06 444.0 157.5 16834 2006-07 447.9 158.4 17043 Various sources
Raising the quality of primary education
Improving education quality requires action in the areas of mentoring quality, curriculum, pedagogy, textbooks, assessment approaches, and learning environment and facilities. In developed countries, close to two thirds of children's performance in early schooling depends on factors outside the school, namely on the home environment, the socio-economic status of parents, and their education particularly the mother's, and the learning resources available at home. Of the remaining one-third, teacher quality and leadership at school are believed to be the more important factors.
The education sector has been without a comprehensive vision for far too long in Pakistan. Indeed, there have been policies, plans, reforms, goals, objectives, initiatives, and countless vision statements (e.g. Education for All), but there has been no vision, no widely owned understanding of where all the efforts are taking us, no well informed conception of how a high-quality, high efficiency education system looks like, and how it must progress. Reforms without a clear vision are useless.
BUDGET DISTRIBUTION IN PAKISTAN
(RS IN MN)
CLASSIFICATION BUDGET 2007-08 BUDGET 2008-09 % IN 2008-09 General Public Service 881657 929522 62.25 Defence Affairs and Services 277265 296077 19.9 Public Order and Safety Affairs 26106 26770 1.79 Economic Affairs 293442 201151 13.43 Environment Protection 183 210 0.01 Housing and Community Amenities 1146 1359 0.09 Health Affairs and Services 5287 5490 0.36 Recreational, Culture and Religion 3131 3191 0.21 Education Affairs and Services 24280 24622 1.64 Social Protection 3765 4791 0.32 Total: 1516262 1493183 - Various sources
Education is the most important factor which plays a leading role in human development. It promotes productive and informed citizenry and creates opportunities for the socially and economically underprivileged sections of the society. Globalization has made economic life more competitive and demanding, making human development more imperative. Only educated workforce equipped with modern skills can vie for and benefit from opportunities created by the globalization.
Therefore, in order to improve human development government must increase the allocation in the budget for educational sector and spending particularly towards the primary education development.