STANDARDS OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst
, PAGE
July 27 - Aug 02, 2009

Education is regarded as a route to economic prosperity and is the key to scientific and technological advancement. Hence, it plays a pivotal role in human capital formation and a necessary tool for sustainable socio-economic growth.

Education also combats unemployment, ensures sound foundation of social equity, awareness, tolerance, self-esteem and spread of political socialization and cultural vitality. It raises the productivity and efficiency of individuals and thus produces skilled work force capable for leading the economy towards the path of economic development.

Education begets confidence, which empowers people to defend their rights, improve health status and good governance in implementation of socio-economic policies.

In Pakistan, the government is adopting most feasible strategies for the growth of educational sector with the available financial resources, paradigm of structural development and essential elements of policy framework.

Public expenditure on education as a percentage to GDP is lowest in Pakistan due to resources constraints. The trend of investment in education in terms of GDP has been 2.50 % and 2.47 % in the years 2006-07 and 2007-8 respectively..

PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION

Pre-Primary Education constitutes Early Childhood Education (ECE), Prep or Kachi classes of children having age of 3-4 years. A decrease of 0.25% in Pre-Primary enrolment (7.403 million) in 2007-08 over 2006-07 (7.423 million) has been observed and during 2008-09, it has increased up to 1.2%.

PRIMARY EDUCATION (CLASSES I - V)

A number of 157,899 Primary Schools with 438,823 teachers are functional. Moreover, 124 new schools have been added since July 2007. GPI in primary education stood at 0.85.

MIDDLE EDUCATION (CLASSES VI-VIII)

40,837 Middle Schools with 320,609 teachers are functional in Pakistan and 489 new schools have been added since July 2007. GPI remained 0.77 in middle education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION (CLASSES IX-X)

23,967 Secondary Schools with 374,249 teachers are functional. 353 new schools have been added since July 2007 and GPI has been 0.75 in secondary education.

HIGHER SECONDARY / INTER COLLEGES (CLASSES XI-XII)

An enrolment of 1.0 million was estimated in 2008-09 over 961,661 in 2007-08 and 902,448 in 2006-07. 3,218 Higher Secondary Schools / Inter Colleges with 74,222 teachers are functional. 74 new schools / Inter Colleges have been added since July 2007. GPI has been 0.99 in higher secondary education.

DEGREE COLLEGES EDUCATION (CLASSES XIII-XIV)

Total enrolment was 361,072 in 2008-9 in Degree Colleges over 352,302 in 2007-8 and 348,814 in 2006-07. 1,198 Degree colleges with 20,976 teachers are functional. 21 new Degree colleges have been added since July 2007 and GPI has been 1.55 in Degree colleges.

UNIVERSITIES EDUCATION (CLASSES XV ONWARDS)

An enrolment of 741,092 was estimated in 2008-09 in higher education over 640,061 in 2006-07. Four new universities have been added since July 2007, making the total number to 124 universities with 46,893 teachers in both Private and Public Sectors. GPI has been 0.86 in university education.

Over the past three years, 17 new universities had been granted charters. Majority of these have been opened in areas where higher education opportunities were previously unavailable. Twenty-three new and advance disciplines were launched. Furthermore, 11 foreign institutions were allowed to operate in Pakistan through franchising/collaborative arrangements with local institutions of higher education.

NUMBER OF MAINSTREAM INSTITUTIONS, ENROLLMENT AND TEACHERS BY LEVEL
. ENROLLMENT INSTITUTIONS TEACHERS
YEAR 2006-07 2007-08 P 2008-09 E 2006-07 2007-08 P 2008-09 E 2006-07 2007-08 P 2008-09 E
Pre-Primary 7,423,162 7,403,982 7,493,494 -- -- -- - - -
Primary* Mosque 17,041,937 17,233,231 17,366,169 158,375 157,899 158,023 445,835 438,823 437,106
Middle 5,367,608 5,365,907 ,400,435 40,094 40,837 41,326 313,488 320,609 323,894
High 2,315,216 2,435,708 2,536,608 23,554 23,967 24,320 366,606 374,249 378,269
Higher Sec./ Inter 902,448 961,661 997,703 3,095 3,218 3,292 71,246 74,222 75,821
Degree Colleges 348,814 352,302 361,072 1,166 1,198 1,219 20,768 20,976 21,112
Universities 640,061 741,092 741,092R 120 124 124R 44,537 46,893 46,893R
Various sources P: Provisional, E: Estimated, R: Last Year Data Repeated

CONCLUSION

Currently, government is committed to achieve Millennium Development Goals including elimination of disparity at all levels of education by the year 2015. The Medium Term Development Framework 2005-10 (MTDF) makes a serious effort to include gender concerns in its strategies and overall sectoral programs. Massive financial support is required to build educational and other infrastructure and trained staff to achieve these goals. Government must provide necessary financial resources to improve education in Pakistan. All primary schools should be upgraded to middle level. International Development Partners must be invited through a well-developed plan for expanding school facilities.