S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst, PAGE
Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2012
MISSING FACILITIES IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
|MISSING FACILITIES||FY 2009-10 (%)|
|Without Boundary Wall||32.7|
|Without Drinking Water||33.6|
Education is central to achieving the key objectives for the nation's future. It connects any country with the world through the flow of ideas, and the relationships formed between people and institutions. These help to build a sustainable economy based on innovation and quality, and sustain their national identity, in a world of globalized business, media, and culture.
In many other developing countries like Pakistan, the situation of education system has not been very encouraging due to poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, and slow pace of economic development.
Pakistan's education system must provide every young Pakistani with the skills, knowledge, and qualifications to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This includes an education system that embraces the cultural needs of Pakistani students and enables them to reach their full potential.
According to Pakistan labour force survey 2009-10, the overall literacy rate is 57.7 per cent, which is quite unsatisfactory to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2011 (Pakistan) report indicates Pakistan's education system is a dismal picture painted by two major challenges. First, there is a significant difference in access to education to the masses. In addition, its quality is impaired by learning achievements of the children. Since the income and wealth disparities have sharply increased over the last decades, there are concurrent fragmentations in education. The increasing range of private schools and neglect of the public education systems creates a disparity between high and low quality education, which is growing gradually.
Total public expenditures on education as percentage of total expenditure were 11.2 per cent, which was 2.09 per cent of the GDP. There are 67 per cent public schools and 33 per cent private schools. Of total population, 36 per cent are between 0-14 years. Pakistan contains the highest number of out-of-school children 7.3 million. It is quite difficult to reach those inaccessible children for educational opportunities because of the complex nature of inequalities with gender differences, ethnicity, wealth and their living conditions.
Moreover, the hostility of the feudal and the indifference of the educated elite are primarily responsible for the neglect of education. The elites have no interest in primary education. The children of the elites go to English medium schools and they do not bother at all whether children of their subordinates receive any education and even if they receive education in some form, its quality is very poor.
However, poverty is another hurdle that 61 per cent of the total population suffer to live less than $2 a day, and about 17.6 per cent of children contribute (child labor) toward daily food for the family.
BUDGET: CURRENT EXPENDITURE (RS. MN)
CLASSIFICATION BUDGET 2011-12 General Public Service 1,659,978 Public Order and Safety Affairs 59,609 Economic Affairs 50,307 Environment Protection 577 Housing and Community Amenities 1,602 Health Affairs & Services 2,646 Recreational, Culture and Religion 4,247 Education Affairs and Services 39,513 Social Protection 1,164
Pakistan has the highest number of children who do not go to school. A large number of students who make it to schools, however, drop out by class five. It is estimated that about 72 per cent make it to grade five, which means a dropout rate of 28 per cent. Such a large number of students outside school mean that they are deprived of the opportunity to learn and acquire skills for playing a meaningful role in society. The emphasis in education is still on a general and liberal type of BA or MA degree. The change towards scientific and technical education has still not taken place. The quality of education is low; the teachers are under-paid, under-trained, and dispirited.
Pakistan's planners allocate insufficient resources for education especially for primary education. Today, corruption at each level has increased; due to this, the education system is facing strong criticism both at national and international level. The country's educational policies have been criticized because of lack of implementation at each level. More than 20 million students study in public schools where there is inadequate water supply, sanitation, electricity, and lack in other basic facilities.
Pakistani private schools have been growing in earnest offering relative quality but unaffordable tuition to the people. Although fees structure of private sector educational institutions is determined in consultation with the government, fees and other education cost of profit driven institutions are high and out of reach of the poor.
Pakistan's constitution pledges the state should provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age five to sixteen years. The parliament enacted the 18th amendment, and article 25A to the constitution declaring education as the fundamental right to children of 5 to 16 year of age. The Prime Minister promised free and compulsory, one education for all.
The government is aware of the enormous impact that education has on a child's life. Improvements to the education system will come from government initiatives which include lifting participation in high-quality and culturally responsive early childhood education, professional leadership and increasing youth engagement through policies. Furthermore, we all need honest, competent, devoted leadership, who knows the fruits of positive, constructive education. Only an intellectual, competent, and faithful leadership knows the price of constructive education and will be able to do some good things for the Pakistani nation.