EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

S.M.ABBAS ZAIDI,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Mar
29 - Apr 4, 2010

Education is extensively regarded as a route to economic prosperity and the key to scientific and technological advancement.

Pakistan's education system has to meet the basic learning needs of the society by emphasizing basic literacy and vocational training, increasing quality of education, addressing gender issue, geographical and structural disparities, and making governance in education sector efficient.

According to Pakistan Social and Living Measurement (PSLM) Survey (2007-08), the overall literacy rate (age 10 years and above) is 56 per cent (69 per cent for male and 44 per cent for female) as compared to 55 per cent (67 per cent for male and 42 per cent for female) in 2006-07. Literacy rate remains high in the urban areas (71 per cent) than in rural areas (49 per cent) and more in male (69 per cent) than in female (44 per cent. The literacy rate in Punjab stood at 59 per cent followed by Sindh (56 per cent), NWFP (49 per cent) and Balochistan (46 per cent). The literacy rate in Punjab and Balochistan improved considerably during 2006-07 to 2007-08.

INVESTMENT IN PERCENTAGE OF GDP

Public expenditures on education as a percentage of GDP is lowest in Pakistan due to fiscal resources constraint. The allocations to education sector in terms of GDP were 2.50 per cent and 2.47 per cent for 2006-07 and 2007-8 respectively whereas it was 2.10 per cent for 2008-09.

BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS

An allocation of Rs6508.78 million was made for the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the education sector in 2007-08. However, the original allocation was reduced to Rs4384.94 million whereas Rs3877.06 million was released. In addition to this, the government also released Rs525 million, which made the total release to Rs4313.6 million for the FY2007-08.

PSDP for the last financial year stood at Rs6269.652 million but due to financial constraints it has been reduced by 33 per cent to Rs4162 million.

FOREIGN FUNDING

It is disbursed in the form of grant, loan, in-kind etc. by Islamic Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, ILO, WFP, USAID, CIDA of Canada, DFID of UK, GTZ of Germany, JICA of Japan, NORAD of Norway, AUS AID of Australia, etc.

In addition, Canadian government is providing $450 million (Canadian dollars) for the development of teachers' education throughout the country. Similarly, Government of Germany also provided Rs7 billion approximately for improvement of elementary education system in NWFP and school libraries in Punjab.

PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION

Pre-primary education consists of early childhood education (ECE), prep or kachi classes for the children having age of 3-4 years. A decrease of 0.25 per cent 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 to 1.2 per cent.

PRIMARY EDUCATION (CLASSES I V)

Total 157,899 primary schools with 438,823 teachers are functional in the country. 124 new schools have been added since July 2007.

MIDDLE EDUCATION (CLASSES VI-VIII)

40,837 middle schools with 320,609 teachers are functional in the country and 489 new schools have been added since July 2007.

SECONDARY EDUCATION (CLASSES IX-X)

23,967 secondary schools with 374,249 teachers are functional in the country. 353 new schools have been added since July 2007.

HIGHER SECONDARY/INTER COLLEGES (CLASSES XI-XII)

An enrolment of one 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 in the country. 74 new schools/inter colleges have been added since July 2007.

DEGREE COLLEGES EDUCATION (CLASSES XIII-XIV)

Total 361,072 students were enrolled in degree colleges in 2008-9 as against 352,302 in 2007-8 and 348,814 in 2006-07. Total 1,198 degree colleges with 20,976 teachers are operating in the country. 21 new degree colleges have been added since July 2007.

UNIVERSITIES EDUCATION (CLASSES XV ONWARDS)

Total 741,092 students enrolled for higher education in 2008-09 as compared to 640,061 in 2006-07. Four new universities have been added since July 2007, pulling the total number of higher education institutes both public and private to 124 with 46,893. Over the past three years, higher education commission awarded charters to 17 universities. Majority of these have been opened in areas where higher education opportunities were previously unavailable. Twenty-three new and advance disciplines were launched in the higher education field. Furthermore, 11 foreign institutions were allowed to operate in Pakistan through franchising/ collaborative arrangements with local institutions of higher education.

NUMBER OF MAINSTREAM INSTITUTIONS, ENROLMENT AND TEACHERS BY LEVELS

. ENROLLMENT INSTITUTIONS TEACHERS
YEAR 2006-07 07-08 P 08-09 E 06-07 07-08 P 08-09 E 06-07 07-08 P 08-09 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 . 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
Univer-sities. 640,061 741,092 741,092R 120 124 124R 44,537 46,893 46,893R
P: Provisional, E: Estimated, R: Last Year Data Repeated

CONCLUSION

Financial crunch in the country hit hard the education sector. Number of new development projects was reduced from 116 during 2007-08 to 29 during 2008-09.

The government should make serious efforts to improve the access and quality of education by enhancing educational facilities within the minimum possible time and filling the gap of unskilled teachers in the mainstream of teaching.