S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Feb 28 - Mar 6, 2011
Education is becoming one of the important aspects of human life in the 21st century with the emergence of globalization and increasing global competition.
COMPARISON: VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS SPENDING ON EDUCATION
COUNTRY PUBLIC SECTOR SPENDING (As % GDP) LITERACY RATE (%) Bangladesh 2.6 55 China - 93.7 India 3.3 - Indonesia 3.5 - Iran 5.2 - Malaysia 4.7 92.1 Nepal 3.2 57.9 Pakistan 2.1 57.0 Sri Lanka - 90.6 Thailand 4.5 - Vietnam 5.3 92.5
In the fast changing and competitive world, education and technology are the master keys for respectable survival and progress of all nations. It is difficult to deny that the purpose behind the creation and development of human life is essentially the march of human society towards the pedestal of civilization, through a continuing process.
Human history thus far testifies that knowledge is the key driver of human development, enabling it to add value to civilized life. Knowledge is essentially the product of education, only a rare and few have been endowed in history with the capacity to gain knowledge through intuition.
Societies that emphasize education have historically prospered in comparison with those who relish the comfort of ignorance, confining themselves to a cocoon of benign inactivity, which retards growth.
Ever since societies developed into states, the obligation on the independent state has been to recognize education as a right of every citizen. Therefore, states always encourage education and provide it to the masses as far as possible. With the renaissance driven by the Muslim scholars of the early centuries of the second millennium, the world realized that humankind had to be the main focus of human enquiry and, thus, enquiry into human life and the atmosphere made it possible for humanity to reach the state of knowledge, which it finds itself endowed with today.
There is no possibility that societies and states, desiring to respond to the changing demands of growth, refrain from investments in education to embark on a path of progress and realize their potentials in the comity of nations.
Pakistan is determined to respond positively to emerging needs, opportunities and challenges of globalization. Pakistan has placed human development at the center of the economic planning. People of Pakistan are precious resources who are as hardworking as one can find anywhere in the world. Yet, the governments have not nurtured their talents nor taken full advantage of their hard workings. Now, the country has begun to experience key shortages in skills that are needed to support an expanding economy.
The three key areas of human development namely education, health and population welfare are attracting significant attention of the government.
Recognizing the significance of human resources, the government of Pakistan has reorganized the higher education in the country.
Higher Education Commission has been set up to devise effective policies for, and regulate, higher learning. Accordingly, focus of higher education has been determined and institutions of higher learning are strengthened academically as well as financially. New specialties and sub-specialties have been planned and are implemented. Special incentives have been provided to professional growth and research. Universities in Pakistan offer undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs of studies in general and professional educations in particular. Parallel to formal school system, there are Deeni Madaris in the country imparting religious education based on the Quran, the Hadith, Islamic jurisprudence, logic, etc. Attempts are under way to integrate religious educational system with the formal school system.
During 2008?09, Pakistan's literacy rate was 57 per cent compared to 56 per cent in 2007?08. However, literacy rate in Punjab stood at 59 per cent, Sindh 59 per cent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 50 per cent and Balochistan 45 per cent. The overall school attendance, as measured by the Net Enrolment Rate (NER), for 2008?09 was 57 per cent as compared to 55 per cent in 2007?08. All the provinces show an increasing trend, with Sindh recording the highest increase, followed by both KP as well as Balochistan.
Education is the right of all Pakistani citizens. It should be the aim of the state of Pakistan to provide equal and ample opportunity to all its citizens to realize their full potential as individuals and citizens through an education that enriches the individual with values/skills prepare them for earning livelihood and nation building. If we are to make real, speedy, and substantial progress, we must bring our educational policy and programme on the lines suited to the genius of our people, consonant with our history and culture and having regard to the modern conditions and vast developments that have taken place all over the world. The future of Pakistan will depend on the type of education we give to our children, and the way in which we bring them up as good citizens. There is an immediate and urgent need for giving scientific and technical education to the people in order to build up the scientific economy and society.