EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI ,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Oct 25 - 31, 2010

Education is extensively regarded as a route to economic prosperity, which is the key to scientific and technological advancements. Education is amongst the single most important factor contributing to poverty alleviation. Education plays an overarching role and has a cross cutting impact on all aspects of human life. It is a vital investment for human and economic development.

Pakistan's education system has to meet the basic learning needs of society emphasising basic literacy and life skills, increase access and completion of quality education, address gender problem, geographical and structural disparities, and enhance the efficiency of education governance.

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) compared to 55 per cent (67 per cent for male and 42 per cent for female) in 2006-07. Literacy remains higher in urban areas (71 per cent) than in rural areas (49 per cent) and more in men (69 per cent) compared to women (44 per cent). The literacy rate in Punjab stood at 59 per cent followed by Sindh (56 per cent), KPk (49 per cent), and Balochistan at 46 per cent. The literacy rate of Punjab and Balochistan had improved considerably during 2006-07 to 2007-08.

BUDGETARY ALLOCATIONS

During the last financial year, the government released only Rs11.5 billion under the development grants against a commitment of Rs18.5 billion. During the current financial year under PSDP, Rs15.7 billion have been earmarked for the development of universities but so far only Rs1.5 billion have been released. As a result, around 300 development schemes have been affected adversely. The situation is, however, expected to deteriorate as the floods forced the government to cut public spending.

FOREIGN FUNDING

This assistance is sought in the form of kind, grant, loan, etc. from Islamic Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union, Unicef, Unesco, UNDP, UNFPA, ILO, WFP, US Aid, Cida, DFID, GTZ, Jica, Norad, AUS Aid, etc.

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

PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION

It is an important component of early childhood education (ECE), Prep, or Kachi classes of children having age of 3?4 years. An increase of 2.6 per cent in pre-primary enrolment (8.434 million) in 2008-09 over 2007-08 (8.218 million) has been observed and during 2009?10, it was estimated to increase by 2.2 per cent.

PRIMARY EDUCATION (CLASSES I-V)

A number of 156,653 primary schools with 465,334 teachers are functional. An increase of 0.6 per cent in primary enrolment (18.468 million) in 2008-09 over 2007-08 (18.360 million) has been observed and during 2009?10, it was estimated to increase by 1.3 per cent.

MIDDLE EDUCATION (CLASSES VI-VIII)

40,919 middle schools with 320,480 teachers are functional. A decrease of 0.2 per cent in middle enrolment (5.414 million) in 2008-09 over 2007-08 (5.426 million) has been observed and during 2009-10 it was estimated to increase by 0.6 per cent.

SECONDARY EDUCATION (CLASSES IX-X)

24,322 secondary schools with 439,316 teachers are functional. An increase of 2.9 per cent in middle enrolment (2.556 million) in 2008-09 over 2007-08 (2.484 million) has been observed and during 2009-10 it was estimated to increase by 5.6 per cent.

HIGHER SECONDARY/INTER COLLEGES (CLASSES XI-XII)

An enrolment of 1.147 million was estimated in 2009-10 over 1.074 million in 2008-09 and 959,690 in 2007-08. 3,291 higher secondary schools/inter colleges with 76,184 teachers are functional. 78 new schools/inter colleges have been added since July 2008.

MISSING FACILITIES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The poor quality of existing learning environment is evident from the fact that a large number of schools lack basic infrastructure i.e. 37.7 per cent schools up to elementary level are without boundary wall, 33.9 per cent without drinking water facility, 37 per cent without latrines and around 60 per cent schools are without electricity. For higher accessibility of education particularly for girls in low income households and to enhance the enrolment existing schools should be upgraded with the provision of necessary infrastructure to improve both output and quality of education.

CONCLUSION

Cutting the universities' budget amid increasing billions for politically motivated projects is a kind of bribe for political benefits. Investing in education is the long-lasting solution for poverty reduction. The government should make serious efforts to improve the access and quality of education by enhancing educational facilities within the minimum possible time.

MISSING FACILITIES IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS 2008-09

PROVINCE/ AREA

WITHOUT
BUILDING

WITHOUT BOUNDARY WALL

WITHOUT DRINKING WATER

WITHOUT ELECTRICITY

Punjab 505 13,378 8,279 26,825
Sindh 11,669 24,470 26,240 39,616
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1,113 9,116 10,029 13,719
Balochistan 681 7,689 4,197 9,806
AJK 2,705 4,498 3,074 4,083
Gilgit-Baltistan 183 1,084 1,069 1,072
Fata 908 1,024 2,101 1,640
ICT 0 15 7 8
Total Pakistan 17,764 61,274 54,996 96,769
In % 10.9 37.7 33.9 59.6